Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education. Alumni Conference of DAAD African Excellence Centres

December 11, 2018.  

Around 60 alumni from 14 African countries and from eight Centres for African Excellence met in Akasombo, Ghana, on November 6-9, 2018 to talk about Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Science and Education.

The second Alumni Conference of DAAD Centres for African Excellence was carried out by the Ghanaian Alumni Network (IGAN) with the support of the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), the Ghanaian-German Centre for Development Studies (GGCDS), and ZEF, University of Bonn.

Its main objective was to enhance and consolidate an organized network encompassing alumni from the difference Centres for African Excellence. In addition, the conference wanted to provide a platform for scientific discussions relevant to the centres' future with regard to their contribution to sustainable development in African countries. 

Thematic foci

The conference encompassed 10 parallel sessions in which alumni from all Centres of Excellence  presented their work. The discussions reflected the high variety of themes covered by the Centres for African Excellence, such as: Natural resources, governance and mineral extraction; law and development; financial inclusion and sustainable development; logistic and economic development; agriculture, rural development and rural-urban transformation; and quality education: process and inclusivity. These parallel sessions brought researchers of similar areas together.

A future structured alumni network

The alumni also tried to define the structure and bureaucratic organization of the network. Addressed questions encompassed where the network should be based (if it should be physically located in one country, in which country, permanently in one country, or be itinerant, etc.); who is part of the steering committee and of the interim committee; how should the committee be organized; what are the functions of each committee, etc. These discussions have been central along the whole network, and were carried out more systematically by the alumni on special work groups with the results presented in the plenary session.

Read interviews with two African alumni here:

Interview with Dr. Darlington Sibanda from Zimbabwe and Alumnus of the University of the Western Cape in South Africa on "There is a need to reach more African students who can benefit and go back to make an impact in their own countries" here.

Interview with Dr. Fatuma Mninde-Silungwe, a lawyer from Malawi and Alumna from the South African German Center for Transnational Criminal Justice on "African women need to be economically empowered" here.


If you would like to see more photos of the Alumni conference in Ghana have a look at ZEF's Facebook sitehere.


Wolfram Laube

Dr. Wolfram Laube