With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between University Abdou Moumouni, Niger and University of California, Berkeley comes the beginning of a new Center for Excellence in women’s health and empowerment in Niamey, Niger. The primary goals of this center are to strengthen and support local initiatives in the field of voluntary family planning and women's empowerment while putting national and international actors on alert to the need for integrating demographic and socio-economic development. The "Presentation and Purpose of the Agreement" outlined in the MOU describes why UAM and UCB have signed on to this mutually beneficial collaboration:
"Having met and found that they shared multiple pedagogical goals, particularly in the field of population and sustainable development, and that their interests and those of their students could converge, the partners decided to consider a number of means and avenues of cooperation.
After fruitful discussions, the parties agreed to develop the idea of a multidisciplinary Center of Excellence dedicated to the role of Women in Development based at UAM. UCB and UAM hereby commit to support activities and programs advancing scholarship and champion the creation of a Center of Excellence through collaborative partnership."
The signing of this MOU is a critical achievement as it provides a commitment on the part of both universities to support activities and advance scholarship related to population and sustainable development in the Sahel. The OASIS Initiative helped get this partnership off the ground with the support of multiple key partners who are supporting this effort, including ISSP (University of Ouagadougou), CRESA (University of Niamey) and CILSS. For more information or to help support the Center's activities, please contact OASIS' Program Director for Niger, Dr. Nouhou Abdoul Moumouni at firstname.lastname@example.org.