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The South African-German Centre of Excellence for Development Research and Criminal Justice was opened in Cape Town on 2 April, with a ceremonial speech by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu. The centre is one of the five centres of excellence that the German Academic Exchange Service, the DAAD, is setting up within the scope of its "Aktion Afrika" campaign. The project is designed to raise both the quality and the relevance of education in the chosen subject areas at African universities, creating research capacities and networking African universities and research institutes with one another, as well as with German partners. The first centre of the five – the German-Tanzanian Centre of Excellence for Law in Dar es Salaam – was inaugurated in September 2008 (see ACA Newsletter - Education Europe).
The centre of excellence at the University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, will offer a Masters degree and a PhD in the departments of Development Research and Criminal Justice respectively. The courses will be conducted in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the Humboldt University, Berlin and the Institute for Development Research and Development Policy of the Ruhr University, Bochum, the principle of 'true partnership' being of special significance in implementing this programme.