The African continent’s future top researchers are studying at DAAD centres of excellence.
Trafficking in counterfeit medicines has been increasing worldwide for many years. Africa is especially affected by this trade. Approximately 550 million packages of counterfeit drugs were confiscated in the course of a police raid in 23 African countries in 2013. But how can consumers be protected against forgeries of this kind? What legal instruments are available to African governments at the international and national level to achieve a higher standard of protection? These questions are the focus of a research project at the Tanzanian-German Centre for Postgraduate Studies in Law.
The institution is one of currently six centres of excellence set up by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Africa. The institutions were initiated in 2008 and are funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. They offer master’s degree and PhD courses for the top executives of tomorrow: African and German students and academics come together to study, teach and research key, socially relevant subjects. Another goal of the collaboration with German universities is to encourage cooperation on the African continent and promote its democratic and economic development.
In addition to the DAAD Centre of Excellence in Tanzania – a collaboration between the University of Bayreuth and the University of Dar es Salaam – there are two institutions in South Africa supervised on the African side by the University of the Western Cape: the Centre for Development Research and the Centre for Criminal Justice. On the German side these projects are supported by the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The centre of excellence in the Congo deals with the subject of microfinance. In the cooperation between the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences and the Namibia University of Science and Technology, the focus is on logistical processes. In their competence centre, the University of Ghana and the University of Bonn are occupied with development studies.
DAAD President Margret Wintermantel stated that the concept of the centres of excellence had “proved to be a successful model for designing German-African university cooperation schemes”. And another centre of excellence is soon to be established: together with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the University of Oldenburg would like to set up a Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methods and Management in East and South Africa at Moi University in Kenya. ▪