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Universal design cooperation with Mozambique

Five million Norwegian kroner is granted to a Mozambique – Norway cooperation in universal design of information and communication technology (ICT) education and research.

Olav Johan Øye Published: Updated:
Picture of G. Anthony Giannoumis in Mozambique

The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education has supported a new project led by Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) in partnership with Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Mozambique and a network of public, private and civil society organizations.

The Mozambique Norway Accessibility Partnership (MAP) project will promote student exchange and ensure academic and professional development of students through internationalization programs.

‘We will start a student exchange program between UEM and HiOA’ s master program in universal design of ICT’, says project coordinator G. Anthony Giannoumis.

‘Students from HiOA will have the opportunity to travel to Mozambique to do data collection and field work with NGOs including disability rights organizations, academic institutions and government agencies in Mozambique and earn credit by taking courses at UEM and HiOA.’

‘Students from Mozambique will have the opportunity to travel to Norway to attend our international Summer School, take courses in the Universal Design of ICT Masters programme at HiOA, and work with NGOs including disability rights organizations, and our public and private sector partners in Norway.’

‘We will provide the students with the resources that they need to ensure a successful and satisfying experience studying abroad, for example our project will cover language learning and funding for travel and accommodation.’

Giannoumis emphasises that this is a once of a lifetime thing.

‘I think the students will have a unique privilege  to travel so far and to a country that is much more diverse that the one from which they originate.’

The project will also promote research collaboration. According to Giannoumis, ‘We are going to put on five seminars, one each year oriented around universal design in Africa.’

‘This will provide us with the opportunity to not only integrate the project partners in dialogue and discussion but will also ensure that the project’s results will feed into new ideas and programmes to improve the way we design technology.’

Finally, the project will promote innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting technology transfer and developing new business initiatives and start-up companies. According to Giannoumis,

‘One thing we want to see as an outcome is a technological transformation, which means taking the new ideas we generate, and transferring them into the public and private sectors. We want to make sure that the students have the resources necessary to put their ideas into practice. That means funding new start-up companies and promoting entrepreneurship in any form.’

‘Taking ideas and putting them in to practice in businesses in Mozambique and in Norway is a great opportunity to promote learning between the two countries. It is a really great opportunity to exchange human and knowledge resources.’

‘The exciting thing is that it is a well-funded project. The project has the opportunity to accomplish some amazing things by developing new universally designed technology. This long-term project aims to create a sustainable social network as well an academic network between the two universities.’

The MAP project aims to produce:

•    four jointly developed and mutually recognized courses for universal design of ICT including joint development of educational materials
•    ten academic publications and at least five co-supervised master’s theses
•    five annual seminars on universal design and ICT accessibility in Africa
•    five cases of technology transfer where MAP network partners will adopt into practice, relevant skills, knowledge and technologies into practice
•    32 student’s long-term mobility exchanges and 32 short-term mobility exchanges

If you are interested in the project or if you want to be involved in the project, please contact Anthony Giannoumis at gagian@hioa.no.