SDG-Partnerships funded by DAAD
The programme focuses on planning, developing and realising a higher education partnership between higher education institutions in Germany and in developing countries and the resulting sustainable structural improvements at the partner institutions.
The long-term programme objectives are to contribute to sustainable development according to the 2030 Agenda, to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to establishing high-performing cosmopolitan higher education institutions in the partner countries.
Africa is facing environmental degradation and biodiversity loss driven by rapid population growth, persisting poverty, food insecurity, unsustainable natural resource use, and climate change. University graduates will play a central role in solving these societal, political, technological, and ecological challenges, e.g. through developing appropriate sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity ‘conservation through use’ strategies. Graduates will require flexibility and adaptability, strong cooperation skills, and the ability to deal with dynamic and complex problems. Academic education must therefore enhance reflective and discourse-oriented teaching and focus on integrating research and academic teaching. Guided self-study forms of learning are required to enhance the independence of the students and develop a problem-solving mindset.
Against this background, the proposed project aims at enhancing SDG-related research and teaching through a strong North-SouthSouth partnership between Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences (HSRW), Makerere University, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (MAK), and the Central University of Technology (CUT), to prepare graduate students for the societal challenges ahead and the requirements of the job market. This includes updated curricula and didactic methods, pedagogical practices that encourage students to develop conceptual learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as improving digitalization and building capacity among lecturers to teach digitally.
Cooperation with Uganda and South Africa
Uganda is one of the most biodiverse countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Seventy-five percent of Uganda’s population lives in rural areas and depend on small-scale agriculture and the use of natural resources. Uganda has also one of the youngest populations globally with 46% aged below 15 years that will result in continued rapid population growth in the coming decades. During the past Uganda has lost substantial parts of its natural habitat to agricultural expansion, improved road infrastructure and economic development. Hence, Uganda faces enormous challenges to achieve the SDGs. Rural areas in South Africa face similar challenges in many regards. The continued destruction of ecosystems and of the services they provide risks to increase poverty (SDG1), food insecurity (SDG2), human health risks (SDG3), conflicts (SDG16), but will also jeopardise achieving climate goals (SDG13) and threaten clean water availability (SDG6) in both countries. Protection, restoration and promotion of sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and natural resources (SDG15) should therefore be at the core interest for achieving sustainable development in Uganda and South Africa.