Left to right: Profs. Rumina Dhalla and Kevin Hall and Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete.

Kevin Hall, vice-president (research), and Prof. Rumina Dhalla, College of Management and Economics, had a private meeting with Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete this week in Dar es Salaam. They talked about U of G’s East Africa Initiative as well as issues such as agriculture, food security, water and health.

“We also discussed our interacting with researchers in the country and doing vocational training,” Hall said. “He outlined his priorities. He is very engaged and really understands with great depth and sincerity what the big issues are in his country.”

The meeting followed a successful workshop hosted Jan. 28 to 30 by Hall, Dhalla and U of G president Alastair Summerlee for academics, government leaders, industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), alumni and others.  Seven U of G leaders also attended.

The workshop focused on improving social, economic and environmental sustainability in East Africa. U of G hopes to strengthen its long-standing connections and help engage a wide range of stakeholders in solving regional problems.

“The workshop started a dialogue that will explore opportunities for collaboration across multiple sectors,” Hall says. “The goal is finding ways to link research and training capacity of East African universities with government, industry and the public on critical issues such as food security and scarcity, water and resource problems, and poverty.

Dhalla is part of the Centre for Sustainable Commerce in CME’s Department of Business. She and professor emeritus Peter van Straaten, School of Environmental Sciences, are heading up the initiative.  Both have lived in Tanzania and conducted research in East Africa.