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UFS becomes the first university in Africa to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations University
2009-12-01

 During the signing of the memorandum of agreement between DiMTEC and the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany were, from the left, seated: Prof. Konrad Osterwalder, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Rector of the United Nations University; and Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS; back: Prof. Dusan Sakulski, Academic Officer, UNU Cooperative Unit for South Africa; and Mr Andries Jordaan, Director of DiMTEC at the UFS.
Photo: Supplied
 
The University of the Free State (UFS) has become the first university in Africa to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations University. The memorandum of understanding was negotiated by Mr Andries Jordaan, Director of the UFS's Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC).

Mr Jordaan negotiated with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) to foster a relationship and combine their pool of resources for training in different aspects of Disaster Management. A triangular agreement between DiMTEC, UNU-EHS and the University of Novi Sad in Serbia will be established in three phases. The first phase is the signing of a memorandum of understanding between DiMTEC and UNU-EHS. This phase was completed in September 2009, when Prof. Konrad Osterwalder, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Rector of the United Nations University, and Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the UFS signed the memorandum in Bonn, Germany. The second phase is a memorandum of understanding between UNU-EHS and the University of Novi Sad.

The memorandum of understanding entails among others joint projects between DiMTEC and the UNU-EHS, research for specific projects, exchange of lecturers and that the UNU will assist DiMTEC with external evaluation. As a result of this memorandum, the two universities have already combined their pool of resources by presenting a vulnerability short course and a visitation to the Republic of the Congo.

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