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DIUS Partnerships in Africa Conference

DIUS and British Council were pleased to host a celebration of the successful England-Africa Partnerships (EAP) programme at Imperial College, London on 8-9 September 2008 . EAP has supported 32 partnerships which have developed innovative ways for institutional capacity building across sub-Saharan Africa.

The event was also an opportunity to announce the launch of the new Education Partnerships in Africa (EPA) programme.

Over 200 representatives from higher and further education across England and sub-Saharan Africa joined DIUS and British Council at Imperial College to celebrate EAP and find out more about the future for DIUS' partnerships in Africa. The event had 4 key aims

Disseminate success & achievements of EAP
Identify and explore lessons learned & best practice
Opportunity to explore and develop new HE/FE networks
Launch and promote new Education Partnerships in Africa

The event began with an evening celebration reception on 8th September, an informal gathering bringing together EAP partners and those from other FE and HE institutions. EAP project partners were able to meet eachother and it was a key opportunity for others interested to learn more about their recent projects and find out more about future possibilities for similar partnerships. EAP projects were showcased with a poster wall which encouraged much interaction and discussion throughout the evening.

The highlight of the evening was inarguably the launch of the new Education Partnerships in Africa (EPA) programme, announced by Win Harris, Head of Joint International Unit at DIUS. EPA succeeds EAP from September 2008 and will run until 2011. Phillip Goodwin, British Council's Regional Director for East and Central Africa gave an overview of the importance of institutional partnerships, particularly those focussing on the skills for employability agenda.

The main conference on 9th September began with some thought provoking keynote speeches. Roy Du Pre, VC Durban University of Technology presented his experience on the role and impact of vocational education and Professor Simon McGrath, University of Nottingham considered the role of FE and HE partnerships in strengthening skills for employability

EAP project partners then led a series of workshops during the conference to explore the impact of EAP on capacity building in HE institutions and also to share lessons learned and best practice which have evolved from the EAP partnerships. See project presentations and the posters from the workshops for more about the outcomes of EAP projects.

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