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The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations. It bridges the academic world and the United Nations system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at teaching, applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 as an autonomous organ of the United Nations General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.

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UNU-FLORES

In what concerns other UNU initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, the envisaged new UNU Institute on Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) is destined to create a Twin Institute in Mozambique as a regional hub for Southern Africa and even beyond.

Workshop participants

UNU-FLORES: Key research topics identified for Maputo Twin Institute

Published 2012-02-07

The 2nd International Scoping Workshop on the establishment of the United Nations University Institute on Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) and its Twin Institute in Mozambique took place 24-25 October 2011 in Maputo, Mozambique. Different key stakeholders discussed research topics for the envisioned Twin Institute in Maputo and identified key topics to be dealt with by both the Dresden and Maputo twinning partners. |Read more

Maputo

In what concerns the twinning strategy of UNU, Mozambique was identified as a suitable host of a second campus of UNU-FLORES. Both, the Government of Mozambique and the leading university, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, confirmed their support and commitment for the initiative after the 1st International Scoping Workshop on UNU-FLORES held in November of 2010 in Dresden, Germany. The 2nd International Scoping Workshop on UNU-FLORES will be held on 24-25 October 2011 in Maputo, Mozambique.

The involvement of research organizations and researchers from developing countries, first and foremost in Africa, is crucial as it has been proven and widely expected that the most negative impacts of climate change and unsustainable activities, though frequently practiced, would be felt in the South, notably in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST), in cooperation with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has also identified the need for a concentrated, concerted and solution-oriented science for African development and the adaptation to cope with the vagaries of climate change, desertification and disasters of natural origin. The Consolidated Plan of Action for Science and Technology for Africa (CPA) calls among others for the establishment of regional (African) centres of excellence with different thematic scopes. A Twin Institute of UNU-FLORES in Africa could thus be conceived as a part of an African regional centre of excellence foreseen by CPA.

Vision and mission

Addressing problems in Africa by and with African scientists should be the priority. Network building and strong long-term support is needed for African universities and research institutes in order to achieve a critical mass of well educated scientific staff. Involving institutions of the network and Twin(s) in the intercontinental PhD programme could be one of the first steps. Education and knowledge transfer in the field of water, waste and soil use should also be considered as a priority.

Mozambique general background

Located along the south-eastern rim of the African continent, Mozambique is intersected by several major rivers (Zambezi, Limpopo, Buzi, etc.) draining the central highlands towards the Indian Ocean. The flow regimes of these rivers are particularly subject of climatic variability and climate change.

Therefore, Mozambique is very vulnerable to the consequences of natural hazards due to its geographical location. A series of devastating floods during the last decade destroyed some of the results of the development Mozambique had experienced in the last two decades.

Mozambique has emerged from a long lasting civil war with considerate political stability, reforms and a developing economy. In many aspects, while still in need for human capacity development to carry further its economic and institutional progress, Mozambique can be characterized as one of the most promising African countries. It could be identified as a “role model” for countries developing under similar conditions and opportunities. The capacity needed (both at individual and institutional levels) could to a great extent be provided and strengthened through collaboration and sustained presence of UNU in Mozambique.

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