DCU to deliver policy and strategy training to African leaders
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore TD has launched a new partnership between Dublin City University and the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) which will see senior government officials across Africa study for DCU postgraduate awards in the area of ICT and the Knowledge Society.
The initiative was launched in Nairobi, Kenya and is supported by the African Union Commission and the Finnish Foreign Ministry. Successful participants in the Leadership in ICT and the Knowledge Society Programme will receive Graduate Diploma awards from Dublin City University. Participants will be eligible to continue to pursue studies at Masters level and beyond.
The African Leadership in ICT Programme will enable present and future African leaders to become change-makers in government and to participate in and influence the kind of central policy-making necessary for social and economic development. Currently, the course is running in 5 countries – Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa and Mauritius - with almost 100 participants. A further 200 participants from Malawi, Botswana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia and Mozambique will join the programme in October 2012. It is expected that the programme will be offered throughout the entire African continent. While the partnership between DCU and GeSCI currently focuses on world-class professional development programmes for African leaders and key policy makers, the broad partnership will, in due course, include science, technology and innovation programme and research initiatives.
Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the partnership, the Tánaiste said,
"This is another example of Ireland taking a practical leadership role in development. The Global eSchools and Communities Initiative founded by the UN ICT Taskforce was initially based in Dublin and enjoys considerable Irish leadership today. DCU has a world-class academic and research expertise in ICT, education and development studies. This partnership sees those two organisations come together to apply their joint capacities in the developing world."
Commenting on the partnership launch, DCU President Brian MacCraith stated,
"This partnership shows clearly what the DCU mission 'to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation' is all about. This joint venture with the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative demonstrates that mission in action across Africa. It builds on existing deep engagement in India, China and the US and underpins our role as a globally engaged University of Enterprise."
Mr. Jerome Morrissey, CEO of GeSCI, said,
"This collaboration with DCU will give those government leaders who participate in the programme an internationally recognised university qualification as well as the practical knowledge underpinning policy and strategy development as African countries work towards becoming knowledge societies."
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Nairobi by Jerome Morrissey, CEO of GeSCI and Ciarán Ó Cuinn, Executive Director of External & Strategic Affairs at DCU in the presence of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore TD.
Dr. Margaret Farren and Yvonne Crotty from the Centre of e-Innovation, Pedagogy and Workplace Learning, and the School of Education Studies at DCU, spearheaded this unique initiative in collaboration with Jerome Morrissey (GeSCI).
The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) is an international non-profit organisation established by the United Nations Taskforce on Information Communication Technology (ICT) in 2003. GeSCI's mandate is to collaborate with partners to improve education, empower communities and accelerate socio-economic development through the use of technology. GESCI provides technical and strategic advice to countries and builds their capacity to develop and implement national strategies and plans to advance their overall education and development objectives in support of developing inclusive knowledge societies. GeSCI works mainly with developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. GeSCI has been primarily funded by the governments of Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland.