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Development of sustainability and competence for Africa – experts gather at HAMK and Aalto University in September

Experts from African and European universities will arrive to the workshop organized by Häme University of Applied Sciences and Aalto University on September 19-23, 2022. The goal is to promote climate-wise bio- and agricultural entrepreneurship and to develop competence in the bioeconomy sector in Africa.

About 40 participants are expected to participate to the workshop, of which about a quarter will come from Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. The other experts are from HAMK, Aalto University and Pavia University in Italy.

The objective of the meeting is to present to African actors the forms of cooperation between HAMK and Aalto University and companies, to refine the practices of problem-based and open distance learning methods based on the experiences already gained, and to enable the emergence of new international learning networks between the universities participating in the projects. The workshop will be opened by the mayor of Hämeenlinna, Olli-Poika Parviainen. During the days, a remote connection with African students is also organized.

“We are advancing sustainable and climate-wise bioeconomy and agricultural entrepreneurship in Africa. These are precisely the critical development activities in terms of global sustainability that HAMK’s research wants to promote in accordance with its strategy. We also have a good reputation in Africa as a pioneer of the circular economy,” says Annukka Pakarinen, head of the HAMK Bio Research unit.

The AgriSCALE and PBL-BioAfrica projects aimed at developing agricultural entrepreneurship and bioeconomic entrepreneurship training and competence of African teachers have already started in 2020. The target countries of the projects are Zambia, Kenya and Uganda.

International student groups have solved the business-related challenges of Finnish and African companies as concrete assignments. For example, marketing plans and content have been produced for companies, and the functionality of business ideas in new market areas has been studied. Through HAMK’s Africa projects, it is easier for companies to test the African market.

African teachers have acted as mentors for the groups of students and have tried the problem-based learning method in practice, with the aim of transferring the best methods to their own educational institution to share.

“For the development work, both projects are at a fertile stage in terms of a joint meeting, when part of the training courses with African university teachers have been completed and the problem-based teaching method has also been tested in practice,” says project manager Eija Laitinen from HAMK.

The first two days of the workshop will take place at HAMK’s Hämeenlinna university center and September 21st-23rd working continues at Aalto University in Helsinki.

More information:

Dr. Eija Laitinen 
project manager
Hämeen ammattikorkeakoulu 
[email protected]