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Sudan-Norwegian University Cooperation Programme

Norway has a 40 year history of university cooperation with Sudan.  Though this relationship suffered a downfall  in the mid 90’s, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just set aside 8.2 million Euro over five years to finance university cooperation between Norway and Sudan.  It is explicitly stated in the mandate that this is “…to contribute to capacity building to secure sustainable institutions in Southern Sudan and other marginalised areas.”  It further states:  “The inclusion of cooperation with relevant institutions of higher education in North Sudan or other African countries and Norway is encouraged as long as a Southern Sudanese partner is involved.”

This development initiative to help southern Sudan back on its feet is admirable, and considering the devastation of the southern part of the country, it will be very interesting to see what applications SIU, the programme coordinator, gets from Sudan and what institutions will be involved in this venture.  It certainly will not be an easy programme to run, though a learning experience to us all and worth following.