Seminar about African challenges

23-24 November ICOA and the Department of Management will host a strategy seminar for the Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative

2015.11.13 | Michelle Nedergaard Buss

It is not often that you can bump into a genuine Maasai in the hallway, but next week you may have the chance if you visit the Department of Management.

Monday 23 November and Tuesday 24, the Department of Management and the Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture (ICOA) will be hosting a strategy seminar for the Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative (MMSDI). 

The MMSDI is an international project with the ambition of saving the world unique ecosystem of Maasai Mara in Kenya through a public-private partnership and interdisciplinary research.

“The challenges of the Maasai Mara are very complex. The people living there need food, energy, jobs and education. Their living conditions are challenged by climate change, bad governance and lack of jobs and economic growth” explains Professor Jacob Kjær Eskildsen, Head of the Department of Management and member of a Maasai Mara research network that crosses the four faculties of Aarhus University.

“These days African refugees are on top of the political agenda. The African governments call for better opportunities for cooperation and knowledge exchange with European institutions. Our Maasai Mara project provides just that, and we hope that this project can pave the way for many new cooperations between universities at the two continents,” continues Professor Børge Obel, Chairman of the Board of the MMSDI and Center Director for ICOA.

A solid and innovative process

The project has been on its way for 18 months. A strong founding group and governance structure have been established. So far more than 30 researchers are committed to the initiative. Apart from 16 researchers from across Aarhus University, the researchers come from two Kenyan and one German university. The local community and business are also represented in the founding group.

At a Summit in April 2015 in Kenya, a broad range of local stakeholders gave inputs to identify where the challenges are. This is now described in the Maasai Mara report

The partners have developed a catalog of 36 research and development project ideas to tackle the challenges.

During the two-day seminar in Aarhus, Maasais, businesses and researchers will discuss a strategy for the ambitious initiative. Vital issues are how research can make an impact on a specific region like the Maasai Mara. Funding of course plays an important role so this will also be high on the agenda.

You can read more about the MMSDI at MMSDI

For more information:

Jacob Kjær Eskildsen
Børge Obel
Pernille Kallehave

News type
Tags: Seminar