Some members of Ulysseus Alliance will work on 23-24 of June in Seville to formalize a new network and consortium: NEEMA. The goal of this meeting is to identify partners and institutions which are contributing or may contribute to strengthen Higher Education, institutions from West Africa on Food and Nutritional Resilience (FNR) capacities to better adapt to the challenges posed by the European Green Deal strategy and its impact on the region.
NEEMA is the name chosen and it was selected because it means ‘food’ in Fula, a Senegambian language spoken by more than 40 million people. It is a set of various dialects in a continuum that stretches across some 20 countries in West and Central Africa including Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal.
Members of the network
University of Seville (Spain), the Université Côte d’Azur (France), MCI | The Entrepreneurial School (Austria) and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland) are the four members of the alliance who work in the meeting with another European university – Hochschule Kehl University of Applied Sciences (Germany) – and eight African universities: Université Amadou Mahtar Mbow (Senegal); Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Senegal); Universite de Tahoua, (Niger); Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (Niger); Université Nazi Boni (Burkina Faso); Université Ouaga II Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso); Institut Polytechnique Rural de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée (Mali); and the Université de Sciences Juridiques et Politiques de Bamako (Mali).
The Ambassador of Spain on a Special Mission for the Africa Plan from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Alberto Virella Gomes, and Médiatrice Kiburente, Nutrition Manager in UNICEF, also participate in the meeting.
The network is meeting in Sevilla, Spain, to delve into the current knowledge and capacities on the subject, to analyse the current situation in West Africa, define the possible contributions of each partner to the project and build stronger bonds.
NEEMA meeting agenda
The NEEMA Meeting is organised with two different agendas: the first day was an open day with conferences about the current situation of food and nutritional resilience in Africa and the development of nutrition and agriculture in Africa. At the end of the day, the members of the new network worked on a round table about how the European Union and West Africa can create synergies and cooperation with food and nutrition stakeholders.
On the other hand, tomorrow will be focused on the preparation of a NEEMA project for applying for funding. Designing innovation pilot initiatives in food and nutritional resilience curricula adopting the European farm to table strategy to fit the needs of the West Africa region will be one of the key topics to be covered.
The objectives of the meeting include areas of collaboration between the participating universities, and areas of collaboration between the participating partners and other institutions, such as European food and nutrition clusters and technology platforms and international organisations.
Ulysseus is one of the 41 European Universities selected by the European Commission to become the universities of the future. Led by the University of Seville together with five other universities in Europe (the University of Genoa, Italy; Université Côte d’Azur, France; the Technical University of Košice, Slovakia; MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®, Austria; and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland), the project will allow students, researchers and graduates to move freely between universities, carry out internships in companies and start high-impact research projects.