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Tri Partite Agreement Signed by UCT, the Université de Montréal & the Université de Ouagadougou

The University of Cape Town, South Africa, the Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and the Université de Montréal, Canada, wishing to develop academic exchange and cooperation in education and research have just signed a memorandum of understanding. The agreement signed last September in Montréal and last October in Burkina Faso was signed by UCT vice-chancelor Dr Max Price on February 2nd. This follows the initial visit to Cape Town by the president of UdeO and UdeM in August 2010, where they especially met with the researchers of the Astronomy Department and is in line with the fact that UCT recently joined the AUF (Association des Universités Francophones). This is a first step for strengthening the links between UCT and the Universities in French speaking African countries. Through this agreement, the three Universities agreed to foster: 1- student and academic exchanges; 2- joint research activities; and 3- exchange of academic material.

Since already 5 years, there were close links between the UdeM and UdeO, through the establishment of an Astrophysics program at UdeO and the construction of a teaching Observatory by Prof. Claude Carignan, then Professor at UdeM and since last July a SARChI chair in the Astronomy department. Two Burkinabè students, that received a scholarship from the NASSP program, arrived in Cape Town at the beginning of February to begin their graduate studies. Two other are doing their PhD at UdeM, one at the Université Laval, in Québec and another one at the Université de Provence in France. When they all come back to Burkina Faso, this agreement will allow them to continue worldclass research projects in collaboration with researchers at UCT and using the large African research facilities such as SALT, MeerKat and hopefully the SKA.

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