ABSTRACT

This chapter brings together a multi-disciplinary group of authors drawn from partner universities from southern Africa and east Africa, who are collaborating with the Danish Universities Consortium for Environment and Development – Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resource Management (DUCED-SLUSE), to analyse partnerships over collaborative education and capacity building in Africa. The aim of the collaboration is to enhance teaching and research as an interdisciplinary exercise within the area of development, environment and natural resource management (Treue et al., 2004). The SLUSE initiative was launched and funded by the Danish Government for collaborations with Malaysia (Malaysian University Consortium on Environment and Development-MUCED); Thailand (Thai University Consortium on Environment and Development-TUCED); and with the Southern African Consortium of Universities for Development and Environment (SACUDE). In 2012, the programme was extended to east Africa in Kenya where DUCED-SLUSE is collaborating with the University of Nairobi, Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) (Kenya-SLUSE) which also co-funds the project. Funding for DUCED-SLUSE started in 1998 and continued for eight years. The SACUDE-partnership was only funded for three years (2002–2005), whereas in Southeast Asia (MUCEDSLUSE and TUCED-SLUCE) it started earlier (1999 and 2000) and was funded over a longer period of time. Therefore, the Southeast Asian consortia are more established and have assumed a more consolidated form as the courses have been devolved, adapted and integrated within local curricula. In recently involved countries like Kenya, the programme provides an interesting insight of expansion, based on long-term experience from other countries. Experiences from TUCEDSLUSE and MUCED-SLUSE demonstrate that collaboration can continue beyond external funding and Magid et al. (2005) argue that the continued interest for such programmes in Asia and Africa demonstrates their importance in a globalising world. Thus, the need for courses of a more applied nature, where students are exposed to a wide array of development issues and are trained as development practitioners, is obvious. In this chapter, we explore experiences from southern and eastern Africa and show the importance of working with diverse partners in diverse situations to develop a self-sustaining programme.