Pan-African University and German Government Higher Education Cooperation in Algeria
Oduor, Brian Omondi
Nguedia Nguedoung, Axel
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Pan-African University (PAU) is an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC) that started in 2008 with the objective to promote higher education, science and technology on the African continent at a high academic level. The Pan-African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change) (PAUWES) is one of the five hubs of the Pan African University (PAU) and hosted at the University of Tlemcen in Algeria. PAUWES offers graduate students access to leading academic research and the latest theoretical and hands-on training in areas vital to the future of Africa’s development in water, energy and the challenge of climate change. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the project "Higher Education Cooperation with Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy (incl. Climate Change) - PAUWES” aims to support the development of PAUWES by enhancing its teaching and research activities in water and energy sciences. The project has been implemented by a consortium of partners which includes the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (CUAS) and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn (UB). The partnership between PAUWES and the consortium of partners has brought together many institutions of higher education and research on the African continent and the world beyond. PAUWES has also benefited from a professional network of public, private and civil society actors. While the cooperation has been very beneficial to participating partners, it is however important to portray and deliberate on the cultural differences and their potential consequences (positive or negative) for Africa and Europe joint ventures. This paper draws from the various areas of experience within the higher education cooperation between German and Algeria Partners. The paper explicates the challenges and opportunities in terms of project governance, socioeconomic landscape of the project location, project management experience and multi-culturalism of the beneficiaries. The paper concludes there is efficacy in international collaboration for high education in Africa. It further concludes that today’s education should empower students with relevant modern knowledge; in this case, case networking through partnership was emphasised. Research leading to entrepreneurship as a possible conduit to respond to some of the challenges faced in different African countries. The paper therefore ends with proposals for synergies in research and entrepreneurship.