ECNU inaugurates first African workstation and steps up “international plus” strategy


5 December, the inaugural ceremony of the ECNU-University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) workstation was held at the campus of the acclaimed East African University in Tanzania. The workstation is located in the School of Social Sciences and adjacent to the School of History on the UDSM campus.

The ECNU-UDSM Workstation is the first of its kind to be set up under the auspices of ECNU on the African continent.  

Vice president of ECNU Wang Rongming attended the ceremony with much enthusiasm for the inter-collegiate initiative. ECNU and UDSM have been cooperating on multidisciplinary research for a long time, he told reporters at the inauguration ceremony. The opening of the workstation is a milestone in the implementation of ECNU's ‘international plus’ strategy in Africa.  

William Anangisye, president of UDSM, thinks highly of the cooperation between his university and ECNU, stating that the friendship between peoples of China and Tanzania dates back to a long time in history. He also elaborated on how the close ties between the two universities could have a big impact on future exchanges and co-operation between superior disciplines of the two universities, as well as both parties’ interests in the areas of African historical research, master's degree programs and estuarine and coastal sciences.  

ECNU is an old friend of UDSM and our close partner in China. The workstation has built a platform for providing unlimited possibilities to further enhance academic cooperation, and will promote scientific cooperation through increased mutual visits between teachers and students, said Prof. Rose Upor, dean of UDSM's Social Sciences School.  

After the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Wang Ke met with the ECNU delegation where he congratulated them on the successful inauguration of the workstation.

The ECNU-UDSM workstation became the fifth establishment set up overseas by the World History Department of the ECNU School of History. The other four are at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in the United States, Universitay of Augsburg in Germany, the Vietnam National University-University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Japan's Waseda University. 

As one of the Chinese universities participating in the China-Africa Universities 20+20 Cooperation Program, ECNU was put together with UDSM under the initiative set forth by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2010.  

In order to promote China-Africa exchange and co-operation at the level of higher education, 20 Chinese universities were chosen to cooperate with 20 other African counterparts. ECNU and UDSM inked an agreement to set up an official inter-collegiate project in 2010 whereupon the two universities jointly established the Tanzania Joint Research Center. Ever since, the two have exchanged visits and conducted joint research projects and student training programs pertaining to estuarine and coastal sciences, African history and cultural education.  

ECNU has become a reputable university for its research on African history. In 1995, the three-volume General History of Africa published by ECNU Publishing House, with Prof. Ai Zhouchang as the lead editor, marked the highest level of China's research on African history. It was subsequently honored with state and municipal-level awards.  

Consequentially, it has emerged as the cradle for fostering talents in the field of historical research on Africa.  

Ten years later, ECNU published the Selected Works of Nyerere with Prof. Mu Tao as the chief editor. Julius Nyerere is considered as the Father of Tanzania who provided a first-hand account on the thoughts and hardships that were experienced collectively by African peoples. The book touches on many aspects in the latter half of the 20th century including the fight for national liberation and economic independence in Africa.

ECNU has also launched faculty exchanges with the Nelson Mandela African University of Technology for further research in water environmental sciences, remote sensing, water and sediment transports and biodiversity. Moreover, there are broad efforts to expand in Ph.D. joint training and in the areas of China-Tanzania comparative research. Other programs include Addis Ababa University of Ethiopia and Makerere University of Uganda.

Edited by Siyuan Zhang    Proofread by Joshua Mayfield    Reviewed by Wenjun Guo


East China Normal University