As highlighted in this report, the city of Dar-es-Salaam and other cities in the country are vulnerable to many challenges that call for smart solutions, and immediate responses from the university’s counterparts. The SUEUAA project and its success in using the university engagement benchmarking tool at the University of Dar-es-Salaam and other partner universities could serve as a viable model for adoption or adaptation by other universities in Tanzania and in other African countries.

As far as the city of Dar-es-Salaam is concerned, future plans involve recommending to the UDSM Quality Assurance Bureau that the benchmarking tool used in SUEUAA project should be adopted University-wide and later on be recommended to the Tanzanian University Commission (TCU, for possible country-wide adoption.

As we have reported previously, an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility grant won by the University of Glasgow from the European Commission has allowed eight staff from the University of Duhok to visit the University of Glasgow. These staff specialise in the field of Medicine, Chemistry, Structural Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Urban Geography and Finance.

The CoJ is keen to engage with the universities, while universities are keen to engagement with the CoJ. However, they perceive each other to have different goals, which are not necessarily compatible. Whereas the CoJ representatives perceive the universities to focus more on research benefits, university academics blame the CoJ for implementing projects without obtaining sound research advice from academics. For example, the bicycle-lane project in CoJ: millions were spent on building bicycle-lanes in the CoJ, in particular between the city centre and the campuses of Wits and UJ, and these lanes are not used at all. Neither the students nor the commuters cycle.

It seems that the level of CoJ engagement at Wits has been well established over many years, also owing to Wits’ close proximity to the city centre. Even though UJ has a Community Engagement Manager, and a Strategic Relations Manager who liaises with the CoJ, engagement with the CoJ do seem to occur on an ad hoc basis.

Future steps should focus on determining the research and support needs of the CoJ, and align these with the skills at the universities to ensure a longer term relationship.

In 2016, this researcher was approached by administration, at a time when the University of Zimbabwe was grappling with numerous problems in the area of Waste Management. Garbage tips had become a common feature in various places. Bins were not protected against scavengers (dogs, cats and birds). The task was then to design a mechanism that would help to contain the situation.

Observations showed all sorts of materials (glass, plastic, metal, paper, fabrics and wood) dumped in one place. Apart from protecting the bins against scavengers, it was therefore also necessary to sort all waste into various categories, thereby facilitating systematic collection. This would in turn help to recycle most of these materials into useful products. Having observed similar problems around various suburbs in Harare, regarding waste management, it is some of the ideas generated at the University of Zimbabwe that could profitably be shared with the City of Harare.

Urban agriculture in Zimbabwe has become more than just about personal hobbies and households’ desire to access freshly grown food products. Socio-economic trends in urban areas have made it increasingly important for many urban households to use their backyard and other spaces to produce crops and animals to significantly meet their food requirements as well as sell for incomes. These ‘farmers’ are unique in their resourcefulness in terms of accessing farming inputs, information and markets.

The sector is also prime ground for fashionable food trends and changing wellness demands by urban societies. Farming extension services are usually not as traditionally structured as for rural communities but are influenced by input suppliers, peer knowledge systems and access to information technologies. In this paper we present the role and scope of universities in engaging these unique food producers as well as related stakeholders in urban food production systems.

The work of the SUEUAA project has had six principal outcomes:

  1. Highlighting the important and challenging active role University of Duhok has taken and achieved in the fields of environment, agriculture,  health, city infrastructure development, gender, refugees and migration;
  2. The establishment of research collaboration on the environmental impact of conflict and landmine clearance with Duhok City Landmine department authorities. University of Duhok to plan for the establishment of Landmine Department within College of Education;
  3. Opened up of wider collaboration and awareness of the city authorities and NGOs projects with University of Duhok;
  4. Strengthened academic links with University of Glasgow and established more collaborations for staff and research student mobility exchange programs in the fields of Education, Science, engineering, medicine and life sciences. This has in particular occurred through the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility grant won by the University of Glasgow which has allowed 8 staff to visit Glasgow. These staff specialise in the field of Medicine, Chemistry, Structural Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Urban Geography and Finance. As a result of this, research collaborations have been established, in the fields of Infectious Diseases, Statistical studies of the effect of landmines on health, agriculture and economy, harvesting energy in the form of modern super capacitors in Chemistry and the development of batteries and membranes. Also, the treatment and recycling of waste material from building construction sites and reducing environmental pollution, and the study of the movement of the rural areas and communities to urban cities and its effect on the economy and social structure of the societies in the Kurdistan region are being covered in the exchanges, which started in July 2019;
  5. Established academic links and learned from the projects of the other universities in Asia and Africa taking part in our SUEUAA program;
  6. University of Duhok has obtained higher accreditation from Ministry of Higher Education in Kurdistan Region of Iraq in the field of collaboration with other international universities, such as Dortmund University in Germany, University of Malaya, University of Tehran, University of Sanandaj, Leicester University and University of Glasgow, and obtained international grants (for example, ERASMUS Mundus grants, DAAD (German) grants, a Fullbright scholarship in USA, and ERASMUS+ mobility grants) to support collaboration projects for cities and infrastructure programmes.

This is the 16th case study from SUEUAA (Strengthening Urban Engagement in Universities in Asia and Africa), written by Nematollah Azizi of the University of Kurdistan and concerns the contribution of his university to the inclusion of blind people in the university. People with disabilities represent a significant percentage of the community. Disabilities are diverse and can range from obvious impairments to invisible conditions. This includes people with sensory impairments /loss, including those with a vision impairment or who are blind.

This is the 15th case study from SUEUAA (Strengthening Urban Engagement in Universities in Asia and Africa), written by Dr Mpoki Mwaikokesya of the University of Dar-es-Salaam and concerns the contribution of the university to combatting pollution by plastics in his city. Globally there has been a long-term concern over plastic environmental pollution. Even though there has been a general trend where many countries have been adopting some kind of legislation to regulate the manufacturing and use plastics, there are many others which have not yet taken any measure.

One of the explanations why the issue of plastic bags pollution becomes a major concern is because most of the plastic bags produced are designed to be used just once and then discarded, resulting in mass amounts of chemically-laden debris landing into oceans and littering landscapes (UN Environmental Programme).

This is the 14th case study from SUEUAA (Strengthening Urban Engagement in Universities in Asia and Africa), written by Nematollah Azizi of the University of Kurdistan and concerns the contribution of his university to relief and assistance provided to communities following a recent major earthquake. Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major faults that cover at least 90% of the country. The Iranian Plateau is subject to most types of tectonic activity, including active folding, faulting, and volcanic eruptions.

It is well known for its long history of disastrous earthquake activity. Not only have these earthquakes killed thousands, but they have also led to the waste of valuable natural resources. Since 1900, at least 126,000 fatalities have resulted from earthquakes in Iran.