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Malmö University collaborates in Branding Africa conference

2017-06-11

Malmö University played a key role in this year’s Branding Africa Conference when it hosted a roundtable discussion focussing on the future of the continent, which has some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Branding Africa roundtable_2

The two-day event included keynote speeches given by selected African ambassadors, pitches given by companies which focus on sustainable development and the two-hour discussion which took place at the university’s new innovation hub, Storm.

It is estimated that two thirds of Africans will be living in cities by 2050, a prediction which creates investment opportunities for many African countries’ economies. This, combined with a surging population rise, means more people require access to energy, improved healthcare system and quality higher education. The event serves as a meeting point for the promotion of successful investments in African markets and to further advancing collaboration between governments, businesses and academia.

Magnus Johansson, who moderated the roundtable discussion, said:

“We were very happy to host this visit and we used the opportunity for researchers to present what’s going on here at Malmö University. From our point of view, it was important to organise a discussion with a broad representation from all parts of the university, and with the ambition to listen and learn from our visitors. We hope that this was the first step into a broader collaboration between Malmö University and partners in Africa.”

Branding Africa roundtable_1

Keynote speakers included ambassadors from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda. His Excellency Dr Joseph Sang from Kenya said:

“I think the conference has been very good for us in terms of providing a platform on which we could engage, both in terms of creating collaboration in different sectors and in this instance, education. I think it is important to build links between our institutions both in terms of research, exchange of students and lecturers and also to find ways we can share information.

“I am happy to hear that there is already some collaboration between Malmö and Nairobi universities and we want to encourage a lot more of that. From the roundtable discussion I can see opportunities in ways in which we can work more on looking at others areas in which we can build on between our institutions. During the discussion there was an element about the type of learning and the quality and structure of our education systems. At the moment in Kenya we are looking at our education system and there is a need to change the quality and the content of what we have got.”

Melissa Bojang has just graduated from the International Relations Bachelor’s Programme. As part of her thesis she travelled to Tanzania for a field study and she was particularly interested to hear from that country’s representative.

“Personally I am interest in gender issues and I think that whatever you are doing when it comes to sustainability, it is very important to take in the gender aspect. I want to know what the speakers at the conference think about this issue.

“It was good the ambassadors were there, I think we often talk about a region or a country without involving people from those places. It is important to understand their perspectives because they are the ones who deal with these types of questions.”

Branding Africa roundtable_3

The first day of the event was held at Malmö’s World Trade Centre and the theme was ‘Unlocking Potential of Cities Through Investment, Collaboration and Growth’. Supporters included: SWECARE, Mistra Urban Futures, Lund University, EKN, Tillväxverket, Againity AB, Inclusive Business Sweden, Watersprint AB, XY Sustainable Housing, InnoVentum, Business Sweden and Swedfund.

Plans are already in the making for Malmö University to be involved in next year's conference.

Text: Adrian Grist

Last updated by Adrian Grist