When the University of Pittsburgh started looking for contacts to engage in partnerships with West African universities (particularly in Senegal), they were prompted by the West African Research Association (WARA) to reach out to the Dakar-based West African Research Center (WARC). As a result, two delegations from the University of Pittsburgh visited Dakar, WARC and UCAD twice during 2022 and discussions were initiated with the UCAD Rector, Professor Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, with a pledge to enter a Memorandum of Understanding to foster and promote cooperation between the two higher education institutions.
The pledge was honored on Thursday March 10th with the signing of a cooperation agreement.
The event gathered several senior officials from the two universities who engaged in a virtual conversation which ended with the MOU being signed by Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs, Professor Ariel Armony for the Pitt side and Professor and Vice-Rector Samba Samba Mbaye in the name of UCAD.
The event was steered by two panel chairs: Catherine Koverola of the African Studies Center of the University of Pittsburgh and Professor Ousmane Sene, Director of the West African Research Center. Professor Sene’s involvement is justified by WARC playing the role of a bridge to help US and West African universities to engage in conversation to promote joint research initiatives and engage in productive cooperation. The role of the Center in this joint venture between the two universities was strongly emphasized and appreciated by the two sides. It was ended with the closing remarks of the Rector of University Cheikh Anta Diop, Professor Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, who re-iterated UCAD’s eagerness to forge strong collaborative ties with Pitt, specially at a time when the Dakar-based university is working on a major project for the creation of a University hospital on its campus in the senegalese capital while the University of Pittsburgh operates one of the finest university hospitals serving the entire Pittsburgh community and beyond.