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Wits enters into major partnership to drive digital transformation in Africa

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

2 min read | 20:55 pm CAT

The University of the Witwatersrand has secured the most significant partnership in the University’s history, which will drive digital transformation in Africa. Wits announced as it celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The University has become a member of the African Engineering and Technology Network or Afretect, a pan-African collaboration of technology-focused universities from across the African continent.

Discussing with Radio Islam International, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academics at Wits University, Professor Ruksana Osman, said worth noting is that Wits is the only Southern African partner as the rest are from the African Continent. 

According to Prof Osman, Carnegie Mellon University has conducted site visits across a few Universities in South Africa since August. Wits University was selected based on excellence in teaching, learning, engineering, science and education. 

She said the partnership is to drive digital transformation through collaborations between the ten network partners. Part of it is to engage in student and staff exchanges and development around digital transformation. 

“The main aim is to ensure that the development stays in the continent and that the talent is retained for the continent,” she added. 

Digital transformation is key to developing economies to assist in alleviating unemployment and poverty and growing new industries and entrepreneurship.

The partnership is worth 20 million dollars—a significant amount of resources to enable that talent to be retained. 

The network has started, and a lot of hard work is already done on the ground. However, the inaugural conference will occur between the 6th and 8th of November 2022 in Rwanda, Kigali, where Carnegie Mellon University is located. 

A complete plan will be knocked out for the network over the next five years, and a delegation from Wits University will be attending.

Listen below to the interview with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat and Professor Ruksana Osman on Radio Islam’s podcast.



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