Tánaiste Launches DCU/GESCI Partnership

Tánaiste Launches DCU/GESCI Partnership to Provide World-Class Professional Development Programmes to African leaders

 Praises Irish Role in Assisting African ICT related Policy and Strategy Development

Nairobi,Kenya, 30th July, 2012

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland Eamon Gilmore TD today launched a new partnership between Dublin City University and the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative which will see senior government officials across Africa study for DCU postgraduate awards in the area of ICT and the Knowledge Society. The partnership was formalized through an MoU signed in Nairobi by Jerome Morrissey, CEO of GeSCI and Ciarán Ó Cuinn, Executive Director of External & Strategic Affairs at DCU in the presence of the Tánaiste.

The initiative is supported by the African Union Commission and the Finnish Foreign Ministry.  It will see successful participants in the Leadership in ICT and the Knowledge Society Programme receive Graduate Diploma awards from Dublin City University. Participants will be eligible to continue to pursue studies at Masters level and beyond.

The African Leadership in ICT Programme will enable present and future African leaders to become change-makers in government and to participate in and influence the kind of central policy-making necessary for social and economic development.  Currently, the course is running in 5 countries – Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa and Mauritius - with almost 100 participants.   A further 200 participants from Malawi, Botswana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia and Mozambique will join the programme in October 2012.   It is expected that the programme will be offered throughout the entire African continent.  While the partnership between DCU and GeSCI currently focuses on world-class professional development programmes for African leaders and key policy makers, the broad partnership will, in due course, include science, technology and innovation programme and research initiatives.

Speaking at the signing of a MoU underpinning the partnership, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore said “This is another example of Ireland taking a practical leadership role in development.  The Global eSchools and Communities Initiative founded by the UN ICT Taskforce was initially based in Dublin and enjoys considerable Irish leadership today.  DCU has a world-class academic and research expertise in ICT, education and development studies.  This partnership sees those two organisation come together to apply their joint capacities in the developing world.”

Commenting on the partnership launch, DCU President Brian MacCraith stated “This partnership shows clearly what the DCU mission ‘to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation’ is all about.  This joint venture with the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative demonstrates that mission in action across Africa. It builds on existing deep engagement in India, China and the US and underpins our role as a globally engaged University of Enterprise.”

Mr. Jerome Morrissey, CEO of GESCI, said: “This collaboration with DCU will give those government leaders who participate in the programme an internationally recognised university qualification as well as the practical knowledge underpinning policy and strategy development as African countries work towards becoming knowledge societies.”

Dr. Margaret Farren and Yvonne Crotty from the Centre of e-Innovation, Pedagogy and Workplace Learning, and the School of Education Studies at DCU, spearheaded this unique initiative in collaboration with Jerome Morrissey (GeSCI).