By Collins Kakwezi
Kampala International University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) during the 1st IGAD Universities Forum held at Jigjiga University in Ethiopia from April 4 to April 5.
Represented by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mouhammad Mpezamihigo, KIU joined a host of other African Universities like the University of Khartoum; the International University of Africa based in Khartoum and Jigjiga University in signing the MoU with IGAD.
The forum was inaugurated by the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, who also used the event to officially launch the IGAD Scholarship and Award Programme.
Participants to the Forum are drawn from universities in the IGAD region. Twenty universities from IGAD member countries are represented by their Vice Rector/Chancellor/President for Academic Affairs and their Vice Chancellor/President/Director for Research and Community Outreach.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary pledged that IGAD and its partners were ‘ready to provide all the necessary support to promote inter-university and regional cooperation in higher education, science, technology and innovation’.
The Forum also explored the role universities can play in enhancing the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions for Refugees, the Djibouti Declaration, the existing IGAD Regional Education Policy Framework and the IGAD Regional Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Strategy, and the IGAD Regional Qualifications Framework which is under preparation.
At the closing of the Forum, it was agreed that a Regional Consultative Forum will be established by the universities in attendance. This shall later be enhanced to include other institutions of higher learning from the region. An IGAD Council of Higher Education was also established.
The 1st IGAD Universities Forum was organized with support from the German government and Education Cannot Wait, and in partnership with UNESCO, the European Union and the UNHCR.