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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.

In 2021 The Sweden-East Africa University Network (SWEAFUN) was formed to strengthen the collaboration further. SWEAFUN is a strategic joint initiative between Chalmers University of Technology and partner universities in East Africa led by Global Sustainable Futures. The initiative provides the opportunity to bring together researchers, teachers, and management of all partner universities to build new equitable partnerships with sustainability as common goal. Activities in the SWEAFUN initiative will strengthen and be coordinated with already ongoing exchange activities with East Africa.

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.

The initiative will also support strategic efforts in international collaboration at the involved universities. This includes among other things maintaining high-level contacts and coordination between the universities, enabling a lasting equitable partnership that benefits all parties with rich opportunities to mutual learning and innovation.

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 (November 2022): 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 to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vice chancellors of all 10 universities will participate as well as key researchers and teachers.
  • 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?

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

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 1/16/2023

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Utskriftsdatum: 2023-01-30