International University of Grand-Bassam students enjoying a moment together.

The University of Georgia and the Andrew Young Foundation are working together to help one of Cote D’Ivoire’s first English-speaking university design curriculum and conduct strategic planning.

Through the capacity-building grant, UGA faculty are set to provide technical assistance to the International University of Grand-Bassam, building the foundation for a long-term partnership.

The $250,000 grant came via the U.S. State Department’s University Partnership Initiative, which helps bring together African and American universities to create educational programs that help African nations meet future workforce needs.

The U.S. ambassador in the West African nation, Richard Keith Bell, joined Mr. Young and officials from both universities including IUGB President Saliou Touré on a virtual call launching the partnership Monday.

Representatives from UGA’s College of Education, Institute for Higher Education and Office of Global Engagement will become co-investigators for the grant, whereby they will also provide input on the IUGB’s accreditation efforts.

“This is a truly interdisciplinary initiative that draws upon the expertise of major stakeholders within and outside of UGA and encapsulates the mission of the Office of Global Engagement,” said Noel Fallows, the office’s associate provost, in a release.

IUGB is no stranger to Georgia. Its fundraising arm, the IUGB Foundation, is permanently based in Atlanta thanks to an earlier partnership with Georgia State University that has since lapsed.

For his part, Andrew Young is no stranger to Cote D’Ivoire. The former United Nations ambassador and Atlanta mayor was honored with the the “Commandeur de L’Ordre” at the ceremony that also marked the formal launch of the IUGB Foundation in 2014.

Executive Director Amini Kajunju congratulated all parties on the grant and told Global Atlanta that it can only bolster the university’s local outreach.

“As the IUGB Foundation continues to serve as a partnership builder for IUGB, this signals that IUGB is a solid investment to make to improve access to higher education for the youth of Africa,” she said. “We hope that this news along with other efforts will make it easier for IUGB Foundation to raise the profile of IUGB and increase the financial and intellectual resources of the university.”

IUGB Foundation was set to host the Cote D’Ivoire ambassador to the U.S. for a luncheon at the CARE headquarters March 20. It was canceled due to the pandemic, but not before Ms. Kajunju provided an in-depth look at the university in a Global Atlanta interview.

The foundation in October hosting a webinar highlighting the need for the global education ecosystem to rethink its models for cross-border collaboration in the post-COVID age. Learn more here.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...