The New African Urban University Project officially launched with a successful inception meeting on 29th March 2021. 23 project team members – including Urban Institute members Beth PerryVanesa Castán Broto and AbdouMaliq Simone – from 9 universities across the world met virtually to forge new partnerships aimed at strengthening the role of African universities in urban change.

This one-year project is funded by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Research Development Fund, designed to foster research collaborations and help stimulate larger collaborative projects through four engaging workshops throughout the year, focused on agenda setting. The project serves as an amplifier – by making visible what is already happening – and finds ways to support universities and academic practices, drawing on the strengths of dissimilar comparisons evident in North-South partnerships.

The team made good progress with meeting the objectives of the meeting, which included getting to know each other (building partnerships); clarifying and aligning project objectives; situating partners in the project and putting in place a process to co-produce project implementation plan.