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Following in Mandela’s footprints across Africa


In 1962, Nelson Mandela, then the first commander-in-chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), secretly left South Africa. He travelled across the African continent for seven months, meeting African leaders and seeking support for the anti-apartheid struggle. 
As he went, he also worked to find scholarships for Black South Africans to attend university in Africa and beyond.
Now carrying his name, Nelson Mandela University is following in these footsteps to expand our African footprint and forge stronger connections with the continent. Of our more than 150 partnerships with universities across the world, more than 80% are with European and North American Universities, and less than 5% with African institutions. The University sees these strategic visits as an opportunity to build relations and respond to the goals of Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals in developing the African continent.  
A delegation of 13 executive, academic and support staff took part in the ViceChancellor’s African Engagements and Partnership Programme, starting in East Africa with engagements at universities in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya. These were important symbolic visits, as these nations are part of the “Mandela footprint”; that is, they are among the countries that Nelson Mandela visited in 1962, and where he found solidarities and support.
During the June and July visits, the University signed memoranda of understanding with the Universities of Addis Ababa, Salale, Ethiopian Civil Service, Makerere and Nairobi. The MoU with Addis Ababa Science and Technology University was signed upon return after successful engagement at their main campus in Addis Ababa.   
The specific purpose was to establish and revitalise strategic partnerships with universities in other African countries through identifying areas for collaborative engagement, research, innovation and learning and teaching. In doing so, the University hopes to rekindle the spirit of collective responsibility for the problems on our continent. 
Source Nelson Mandela University’s VC’s Voice – Issue 8 – December 2022
Alumni event in Kampala, Uganda on 29 June 2022. More than 60 alumni and friends in attendance. VC Prof Muthwa and the SA High Commissioner to Uganda, her excellency Ms Lulu Xingwana addressed the members present. Several universities sent representatives.  Former Mandela University colleagues Prof and Mrs Kakembo also attended the event. The Uganda Alumni Chapter and the ARO co-hosted the event which was fully sponsored by alumni.  
Alumni event in Nairobi, Kenya on 1 July 2022 with about more than 30 alumni in attendance. Alumni supported the establishment of a formal alumni chapter in Kenya. Prof Keet, Dr Webb and 2014 alumni award recipient Dr Hanningtone Gaya addressed the members present.


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