Southern Polytechnic State University has signed a formal agreement with the Atlanta-based Africa Heritage Foundation, which is in the process of developing a network of universities in Africa and North and South America.

Richard Bennett, director of international programs at Southern Polytechnic, said in a news release that the agreement calls for the foundation to be based at the university where students from 26 African nations are enrolled.

Southern Polytechnic already has an established partnership with the P.K. Fokam Institute of Excellence in Yaounde, Cameroon. The institute is a private university created in 2007 by the Appropriate Development for Africa Foundation, a non-profit that is supported by the Afriland First Bank, which makes micro loans for rural development and to assist small firms owned by women. 

“These are not to be considered branch campuses, but independent universities networked together in close relationship with SPSU,” Dr. Bennett said.

Tunde Adetunji, who established the foundation prior to the 1996 Summer Olympics, told GlobalAtlanta that the P.K. Fokam Institute is to be the flagship of the university network that is to include universities in Brazil and Canada in addition to the U.S.

Mr. Adetunji also said that the response to the idea of the network from officials of the African Union has been positive because of their desire to initiate technology transfers.

Jean Ping, the chairman of the Commission of the African Union, visited Atlanta in April. Representatives of the Africa Union also have visited the city at the invitation of Mr Adetunji in recent years.

Southern Polytechnic is a residential, co-educational member of the University System of Georgia with approximately 5,700 students who study the sciences and technologies as they pursue a balanced education that is career-based.

To read GlobalAtlanta’s coverage of Mr. Ping’s visit, go here.