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Unisa extends African footprint with book donation to the Somali National University

The University of South Africa (Unisa) donated more than 30 000 books to the Somali National Library and the Somali National University (SNU) at a ceremony on 12 December 2019.

The donation is one of several initiatives under a memorandum of understanding between Unisa and the SNU in support of an African Union (AU) resolution to resuscitate the collapsed Federal Republic of Somalia after 1991.

Speaking at the ceremony, Unisa’s Vice-Principal for Research, Postgraduate Studies, Commercialisation and Innovation, Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa, said that the university's gesture speaks to having strategic partnerships with other institution on the continent. "We are excited because we are helping to rebuild the university and contributing to knowledge development," she said.  

Somalia’s ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Jamal Muhamed Barraw (a former librarian), welcomed the donation and said that it will contribute towards the rebuilding of that country. "This donation is important to Somalia’s process of renewal," he said. "Our wish is for Unisa to have a campus in Somalia and we are grateful that the university will also be capacitating librarians."

Abdi Halane Hirsi, a representative of the Embassy of Somalia; Unisa’s Vice-Principal for Research, Postgraduate Studies, Commercialisation and Innovation, Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa

Dr Selematsela said that the relationship will stretch further than just the donation of books. "The two universities will engage in research aimed at the capacity building of the Federal Somalia Government (FSG), and specifically the Somalia National University School of Management and Public Administration," she said. "It will also promote trans-disciplinary approaches to research and teaching in African conflict management, publish related articles on the areas of collaboration, election challenges and management in an African context. The most important factor is that Unisa will be extending its footprint in knowledge generation in Africa."

* By Edgar Rathelele, Senior Media Officer, Department of Institutional Advancement

 

 

Publish date: 2019/12/19