Institute for Social and Health Studies (ISHS)

UNISA-MRC-EMU Partnership report

UNISA formalized its long standing collaboration with Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU) by way of signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Sunday 25 July at a dinner hosted by Professor Filipe José Couto, Rector of Eduardo Mondlane University.  The dinner was followed by the launch of Eduardo Mondlane University’s Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Research Unit and the UNISA-MRC-EMU Safety and Peace Initiative on Monday 26 July.

The MRC was represented by Dr. Ali Dhansay, (Vice-President).  He congratulated the University of Eduardo Mondlane on the launching of Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Research Unit.  In his address Dr. Ali Dhansay stated, “As I understand it, the Unit will work with our colleagues in our own Safety and Peace Promotion Research Unit (SAPPRU). This collaboration is to be centred around the joint Safety and Peace Initiative (SAPI).”

Dr. Ali also emphasised that “the establishment of this joint venture, under the umbrella of SAPI, announces the formal birth of a shared platform for knowledge sharing, research capacitation, skills exchange and scholarly growth that is vital for enhancing the well-being of the citizens of both our countries”. Dr. Ali extended an invitation to EMU colleagues to visit the MRC.

Dr. Dhansay also added that the partnership with Eduardo Mondlane University is critical in meeting MRC’s research and development goals, particularly as they relate to the Southern African context.  He pointed out that the challenges arising from public health priorities – which include the often daunting ones of child and maternal health, health policy, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, crime, violence and injury, and safety and peace are immense. However, he was confident that mutually supportive efforts would do much to ameliorate these difficulties in both Mozambique and South Africa.

Representing UNISA, Prof. Narend Baijnath, Vice Principal, Strategy, Planning and Partnerships, said “It is with great pleasure that I participate in the formalisation of our collaborative endeavour with the prestigious University of Eduardo Mondlane. Our collaboration not only affirms our commitment and support for the development of the Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Research Unit here in Maputo at the University of Eduardo Mondlane, but also strengthens the ties of collegiality and solidarity between our two countries. This collaboration today reflects the ongoing synergistic mission and vision that our two respective countries and institutions share”.

Prof. Baijnath added that “both our countries shared a history of struggle against colonialism and oppression, which at its core, from Mondlane to Machel to Tambo to Mandela, had a fraternal sense of solidarity and comradeship. Our historical bonds of solidarity cut across many spheres and institutions, including the academic, artistic, political, transport, commerce, environmental, and liberatory spheres.  The Great Limpopo Trans-frontier Peace Park that allows the free movement of humans and wildlife between South Africa and Mozambique symbolises this natural unfettered exchange. Today we continue with strengthening ties in the domains of technology, research, teaching, scholarship, academic exchange and African knowledge production for the benefit of our countries’ people and the African continent at large.”

Prof. Dzvimbo representing the College of Human Sciences said that the formalisation of the Safety and Peace Initiative (SAPI) between the three institutions is designed to support the development of EMU’s Medical Faculty’s Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Research Unit.  Prof Dzvimbo emphasised that through the Safety and Peace Initiative (SAPI), the Institute for Social and Health Sciences and its partners in the Medical Research Council commit themselves to: 

  • Providing technical and academic assistance to facilitate the growth and development of the Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Research Unit;
  • Offering academic and organizational assistance towards the development of strategic and operational plans and research agenda for this Unit;
  • Providing post-graduate and fellowship research-related training and development opportunities for staff and students affiliated to UEM; and
  • Entering into joint-research and community-centred safety and peace promotion training and development exercises and demonstration initiatives.