A delegation of the Alliance of Islamic Universities of Africa (AIUA) comprising vice-chancellors from fourteen African and Central Asian universities on Tuesday visited the Government College University (GCU) Lahore and signed a tri-party memorandum of understanding (MoU) for research and academic collaboration with universities from Nigeria, Kenya, Kazakhstan and Uganda.

Speaking on the occasion, GCU Lahore Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi said that the tri-party accord, signed among AIUA, COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence and GCU Lahore, would help to build an ecosystem of collaboration and enable knowledge-based economic growth in the OIC member states, particularly in the African region. He said this alliance would open avenues to share ideas, skills, expertise, and best practices to pole resources for mutual support and benefit for each institution.

Prof Zaidi told vice-chancellors from fourteen African universities that GCU last year welcomed 64 international students from different disciplines. He said this MoU would also help initiate student and faculty exchange from African universities.

GCU Academic Planning and External Links Director Ms Fouzia Shaheen also briefed the visiting delegation about the academic programs offered at GCU.

COMSTECH Media Advisor Murtaza Noor said the core mandate of COMSTECH is to strengthen cooperation among the OIC member states in the realm of higher education and health.

The AIUA delegates, led by Prof Salisa Shehee, the Vice Chancellor of Al-Istiqama University Nigeria, spoke about the different opportunities and developmental challenges in the African region including a limited number of skilled professionals and workforce.

The AIUA delegation included the vice-chancellors from Umma University Kenya, Alnasar University Nigeria, Al Qalam University Nigeria, Al Ansar Foundation Nigeria, Borno State University Nigeria, Nasarawa State University Nigeria, Muslim University Morogoro Tanzania and Islamic Call University Uganda.

Related: Tech solutions put on display at GCU Innovation Fest 2022

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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