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East Africa Initiative

Encompassing eight East African universities, the East Africa Initiative offers rich opportunities to explore common interests, collaboration possibilities and synergies. The overarching aim of the strategic initiative is to develop long-term partnerships and fruitful collaboration with universities in East Africa, while contributing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030. The collaboration builds on established contacts and aims to explore and strengthen ongoing collaboration with selected partners as well as expand to include additional universities.


A long history of connections between Chalmers and East African institutions, involving university activities at various levels and across various departments, prompted a dedicated strategic effort to explore, coordinate and strengthen exchange further. The East Africa Initiative started in 2018 by the President and CEO at Chalmers, Stefan Bengtsson, and was transferred to Global Sustainable Futures in January 2020 as the platform was established. This also meant that dialogue and involvement of University of Gothenburg intensified.

Current East African partner universities:

Subject and focus areas

All parties have agreed to explore, define and strengthen long-term collaboration within research, education and utilization in four main subject areas: food, water, energy and transport. These have been in focus for both the Kisumu and Kigali workshops and may be expanded or further defined as a result of continuous dialogue and outcomes of upcoming workshop(s) – with the expectation to result in concrete action plans for implementing set goals.

Past and ongoing activities

  • Workshop in Kisumu, Kenya (April 2019): A small bilateral workshop was held together with Chalmers and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) as co-hosts.
  • Workshop in Kigali, Rwanda (postponed from May 2020, new dates to be decided): A multilateral high-level workshop involving Chalmers, University of Gothenburg and all eight East African partner universities was planned for May 2020, with Chalmers and University of Rwanda as co-hosts. It was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vice chancellors of all 10 universities had committed to the participation of their vice chancellors as well as key researchers and teachers, and dialogue is ongoing.
  • Development of joint applications and thematic working groups: Based on identified common needs and interests, as a result of workshop(s), planning and continuous dialogue.
  • Active involvement at European level: An Africa-focused part of the European strategic university network IDEA League, of which Chalmers is a member, has formed the Expert Working Group for Collaboration with African universities to strengthen and expand collaborations with African universities. The goals of this group are very similar to those of the East Africa Initiative as well as of Global Sustainable Futures and several ideas are being explored jointly.


More information and interest?

Magdalena Eriksson, Platform Leader, magdalena.eriksson@chalmers.se, +46 (0)766-18 49 43

Daniela Michael, Project Manager East Africa Initiative, daniela.michael@chalmers.se, + 46 (0)708-79 59 34 (on parental leave).

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 5/19/2021

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