22 April 2016 11:40

Diplomatic links between Lancaster University and a South African province were strengthened on Thursday when the Premier of Gauteng was a visitor on campus.

During the visit, the Chief Executive Officer of Gauteng City Region Academy, Mr Rufus Mmutlana, joined Lancaster University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith in signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

The memorandum sets out an agreement between Lancaster University and Gauteng City Region Academy to explore mutually beneficial collaborative research, training and exchanges.

“We are very pleased that such a high profile delegation from Gauteng has joined us here on campus to herald our burgeoning relationship,” said Professor Smith.

“By signing a Memorandum of Understanding we have set out our aspirations for working together with Gauteng City Region Academy for mutual benefit over the coming years.”

The signing was witnessed by Gauteng Health Minister Ms Qedani Mahlangu and Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor International Professor Steve Bradley.

The Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura, shared his insights as the leader of South Africa’s economic powerhouse province, home to Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Speaking at a lecture for staff and students, the Premier, one of South Africa’s leading politicians, explored how attitudes towards Africa have changed to become a positive storyline in the past decade.  

He discussed the driving forces and factors behind Africa's improving prospects for economic development and the role of city-regions in driving Africa's new industrial revolution.

“We recognise Lancaster University as a globally significant higher education institution,” said Mr Makhura after the lecture. “We hope to gain mutual benefits through this cooperative programme which promotes educational activities and international understanding.”