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The Faculty develops research and policy links in Uganda

Published: Mon 14 May 2018
The Faculty develops research and policy links in Uganda

Recent activity in Uganda will be presented in the research showcase at Emm Lane on 17 May 2018, as well as at the IBMB research information event on 24 May, alongside similar activities previously carried out in Kenya and Tanzania.

Two important training and research events took place before Easter in Uganda, as part of a wider research project led by the University of Bradford’s Faculty of Management & Law.

The events were organised by the Jean Monnet Network; ‘The EU, Africa and China in the Global Age (EU-EAC)’ and took place in the capital city Kampala, and in Gulu (Northern Uganda). The principal organisers were Jean-Marc Trouille, lead participant of the global consortium and Jean Monnet Chair at the Faculty of Management & Law, and Julaina Obika, Associate Professor at Gulu University and Network representative for Uganda. These events were organised with the collaboration of the EU Delegation to Uganda, the East African Community (EAC), and the Ministry of East African Community Affairs (MEACA).

A dialogue of regional integration

The first event, a Training & Dialogue Session on Regional Integration, took place at the Ugandan Ministry of East African Community Affairs in Kampala. Its purpose was to engage in a dialogue on regional integration and EU-EAC cooperation with policy makers from the Ugandan Government. Moses Onyango, Kenyan Network representative, was instrumental in shaping with Jean-Marc the Network’s training programme. He said: ‘These training sessions are critical empirical components to the next phases of our research.’

Opening addresses were given by Mrs Edith N. Mwanje, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry; by Mrs Sandra Paesen, Head of Political Section, Press and Information and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Uganda; and by Julaina Obika and Jean-Marc Trouille. After a presentation of the Jean Monnet Network, three Plenary Sessions took place with a focus on various aspects of regional integration, followed by a keynote speech by Amb. Tim Clarke, former EU Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation to the African Union, IGAD, Ethiopia and Djibouti and to Tanzania and the EAC, who provided valuable insights on how the European Union works in practice.

Rich and insightful

Afternoon sessions were devoted to a fruitful dialogue between all participants on a range of issues relevant to regional integration. Discussions were led by Mr Daniel Mugulusi, Undersecretary at MEACA. Debates were rich and insightful and provided opportunities for comparing different situations and perceptions between Europe and East Africa.

The Training & Dialogue Day and its unique concept, with emphasis on transcontinental dialogue between academia and policymakers, raised substantial interest among MEACA participants.

There was a joint desire for greater reflection on how to promote the integration in East African countries. An important point of discussion was on how to take the meeting further, how to ‘pass ideas’, how to promote understanding of regional integration among the youth, in short, how to promote integration in the East African region, foster a meaningful regional identity, and provide support for policy development.

JMonnet event in Uganda

Developing integration awareness

Participants from the Ministry expressed a strong desire to establish a partnership between the EU, Bradford’s Jean Monnet Network and MEACA in developing integration awareness among the youth in Uganda. The Ministry also expressed keen interest in the inclusion of China as a partner in its cooperation with the Jean-Monnet Network.

The Jean Monnet Network and MEACA intend to maintain contact. Alongside MEACA, the Jean Monnet Network intends to pursue the aim of promoting regional integration and peace not only at academic level, by encouraging more academic cooperation across East Africa, but also by reaching the policy level and civil society in all EAC member states. It values therefore the highly positive link established with MEACA and will continue to inform the Ministry of future Network activities.

Challenges to regional integration

After this successful event, the Jean Monnet Network moved to Northern Uganda, where it organised a two-day International Conference on Challenges to Regional Integration in East Africa and Europe. It comprised sessions on Regional Integration and Sustainable Development; International Relations and Security Studies; Peace and Conflict, Land Migration; Legal Issues, Institutions and Structures; East Africa between Europe and China; Education and the Internationalisation of Higher Education; and Applying for EU Funding.

The Jean Monnet team was impressed by the talent, quality and enthusiasm of scholars from Gulu University who participated in the conference and gave relevant and insightful papers.

This joint conference and the two days of fruitful debates were also a great opportunity for the Jean Monnet team to improve their understanding of regional integration processes in a corner of Africa close to the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, and in a region hosting most of the 1.3 million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.

Further information

What is the Jean Monnet Network?

The Jean Monnet Network is a research and training project funded by the EU Commission. It brings academic partners and institutions together from EAC member states, the UK, Greece, and China. It aims at improving EU-Africa cooperation and contributing to building sustainable societies in coordination with China.

What will it achieve?

The Network’s main focus lies on studying:

  • Regional economic integration in the East African Community (EAC) in a comparative perspective.
  • The relations between the European Union and Africa, with particular emphasis on the East African Community.
  • EU-Africa-China relations with emphasis on developmental economics and mutual trade and development partnerships. Attention will be devoted to the potential for an EU-China coordination to contribute to the sustainability of African economic integration, growth and development.

Why is it special?

The Jean Monnet Network is a unique endeavour to foster dialogue between academia and policy makers in a trilateral way between the European Union, Africa, and China with a view to building sustainable societies in Africa for the benefit of all parties. This project is at the heart of the University of Bradford’s vision on sustainability.

Contact point for further information:

Jean-Marc Trouille

Jean Monnet Chair in European Economic Integration and European Business Management

Lead Partner, Jean Monnet Network ‘The EU, Africa and China in the Global Age’, Faculty of Management & Law

 

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