Representatives of Stellenbosch University (SU) and Security Watch Africa (SWA), a high-level Nigerian-based security NGO, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions on Friday 24 June at the Wallenberg Research Institute at STIAS.
Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, and Mr Patrick Agbambu, CEO of SWA, signed the agreement on behalf of the two institutions. The execution of the MoU is seen to unfold between SWA and the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA) at SU. SWA representatives from Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia also attended the event.
SWA believes that security must be available for growth and development in Africa and dedicated to ensuring that Africans are on the cutting edge in contemporary issues and solutions relating to safety and security. In striving to promote security conscious governments at all levels in Africa it gives recognition to individuals, governments, agencies and business entities that excel in security governance, best practices and management in Africa.
Prof Cloete said SU regards itself as a new African university and therefore values partnerships with other African universities and organisations. "We already have quite a large footprint in Africa, especially in the areas of food security and water, and now also with regard to security. Security will in future become a big issue across the world and that is why inisiatives and partnerships such as this is so important."
In his turn Agbambu said the SWA is delighted about the partnership with Stellenbosch University. "The SWA would like to, through partnerships like this one, equip leaders to lead the continent. We believe that the solutions to Africa's problems lies within Africa. "We have to position ourselves to find solutions to the security challenges of the the continent. The positive outcomes of this partnership will be to the benefit of Africa."
SWA maintains a flagship television programme, broadcast on Africa Independent Television (AIT), a magazine as a security information medium in the continent targeted at decision makers and professionals in the public and private sectors, corporate organisations, international agencies and parastatals. SWA facilitates an ongoing lecture series aimed at identifying, discussing and proffering actionable solutions on security related matters.
SWA is partnering with SIGLA, a SU research institute located within the Faculty of Military Science. SIGLA builds leadership capacity and generates knowledge resources in the area of security for sustainable development. With regards to the latter, the SIGLA focus covers landward and maritime security governance.
Prof Francois Vrëy of the Faculty of Military Science, says the MOU is signed to "formalise cooperation between SIGLA and SWA towards their lecturing series, short training courses and developing a post-graduate programme for West African clients on security management. The first activity commences in November 2016 when SIGLA is scheduled to present the annual SWA lecture series in Stellenbosch."
Photo: Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, and Mr Patrick Agbambu, CEO of SWA, and Prof Sam Tshehla, Dean of the Faculty of Military Science signing the MOU. Photographer: Justin Alberts.