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The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Dr Emem Anwana, the Faculty Research Co-ordinator at the Faculty of Management Sciences, was recently invited by the Vice-Chancellor of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) in Nigeria, Professor Smaranda Olarinde on an academic exchange from 11 January to 15 January 2022. The aim of the visit was for Dr Anwana to engage in various academic programmes to strengthen areas of collaboration between DUT and ABUAD, Africa’s fastest growing university.

This visit to ABUAD comes after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) partnership which was signed between DUT and ABUAD, last year, 31 August 2021. DUT and ABUAD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which also forms part of DUT’s ENVISION2030 that is to build mutually beneficial partnerships.

The ABUAD-DUT MOU aims to enhance the international engagement and capabilities of DUT and ABUAD. To do so, it has set out two key goals which are to establish precise academic and financial arrangements and to support, as appropriate, the exchange of personnel between DUT and ABUAD and conduct collaborative research projects to innovate and address challenges identified by both or either party. The virtual signing ceremony also included the orientation of DUT postgraduate students from the Faculty of Management Sciences.

Dr Anwana explained how the partnership came about with DUT and ABUAD, stating: “On the 31st August 2021, the vice-chancellors of both DUT and ABUAD signed an MOU online which included amongst other things, to train ABUAD staff members to attain higher qualifications in both Master and PHD’s, to conduct academic exchanges amongst both staff and students of both institutions and for academic conferences and webinars to be hosted by both institutions.”

Giving details on her visit to Nigeria, Dr Anwana said her trip highlights entailed a visit to the Chancellor and founder of ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola, CON, OFR, SAN, a tour of ABUAD’s Multisystem Hospital, Farm, Planetarium, Youth Empowerment Centre and the ABUAD Industrial Park amongst others. She held meetings with DUT/ABUAD postgraduate students and gave a lecture on Research Methodology to postgraduate students. The other aspect of the visit involved meeting with the Vice-Chancellor of ABUAD, Professor Smaranda Olarinde, and members of management at ABUAD, to discuss and proffer strategies on taking the signed MOU further.

“I arrived at ABUAD for the academic visit on the 11th of January 2022. On the 12th of January 2022, I held a public lecture, titled: Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility, and the SDGs in Africa,” where she emphasised and spoke on her conceptual CSR model titled the “Synergy, Inclusiveness and Socio-Economic Development (SIS) conceptual model.” She further added; “I held several one on one sessions with individual colleagues to discuss other engagements in terms of publications, conferences and webinars. I was hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Provost of the College of Law, and Provost of the College of Social and Management Sciences,” she relayed.

Dr Anwana further indicated that DUT has undertaken the staff development of 23 staff/students from ABUAD in various departments in the Faculty of Management Sciences ranging from Applied Law, Public Administration, Marketing, Business Administration, Hospitality and Tourism etc.

Explaining the benefits of such a partnership, Dr Anwana conveyed that international collaboration enhances DUT ranking and promotes its profile in Africa and beyond.

“International student graduations and enrolment brings exposure and also enhances university rankings. International collaborations are beneficial to both institutions; and South/South collaborations with African universities allows African studies from an African perspective,” she said.

Dr Anwana expressed that the partnership aligns with DUT’s ENVISION2030 in respect of transforming students into adaptable individuals who could adjust to coming changes. “The PG training programme and the research chair when established will enable African researchers and students to come up with innovative and transformative ideas for Africa,” she said.

Going forward, Dr Anwana indicated that joint awards of postgraduate degrees between DUT-ABUAD is a long term goal.

Pictured top left: The Faculty Research Co-ordinator at the Faculty of Management Sciences at the DUT, Dr Emem Anwana.

Pictured top right: Vice-Chancellor of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) in Nigeria, Professor Smaranda Olarinde.

Pictured bottom left: The founder of ABUAD , Aare Afe Babalola.

Pictured bottom right: The DVC: Academic Research Innovation and Strategic Partnership (ABUAD), Prof D S Olawuyi.

Waheeda Peters

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