Indonesian-African National Seminar: Forming bilateral partnership through education

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National seminar carried out online on Monday, September 14, 2020. (Photo: By courtesy)

UNAIR NEWS – Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) and UNAIR Center for African Studies held another webinar on “Synergy to Build Amid Covid-19 Pandemic”. The second webinar series held on Monday, September 14, 2020, presented some speakers, Vice Rector I Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman Tripuspaningsih, Daniel Tumpal Simanjuntak as Director for African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNAIR student from Nigeria, Silas Oghenemaro Emovwodo, and CEO of Markplus Institute Dr. Jacky Mussry.

Dean of FISIP UNAIR Dr. Falih Suaedi, M.Si, opened the event and explained that strengthening bilateral ties cannot only be done through political and economic channels. “Education is one of the softer and more elegant diplomatic instruments. That’s why we have a Center for African Studies at FISIP which is not only a research and education center, but also a bridge between UNAIR and African students, “he said.

Meanwhile Prof. Nyoman showed how UNAIR’s role and success in building educational opportunities for international students from Africa. It can be seen from African students who have managed to be best graduates in graduation, which is quite difficult to achieve. In fact, one of them managed to continue their doctoral studies from UNAIR’s partner university in Taiwan. “Moreover, we have several available scholarships for African students,” she explained.

Furthermore, the Director for African Affairs explained that Indonesia is trying to use the means of economic cooperation to open access to educational diplomacy by providing educational scholarships as a form of corporate social responsibility. Daniel also knew that many African students who received scholarships and Indonesian universities graduates have successfully held important positions in their country, from the Minister of Defense of Madagascar to the Rector in Uganda.

“That’s why it must be kept in mind that the role alumni of Indonesian university graduates is big. As a diplomatic ambassador for two countries, a potential link between Indonesia and African, and an advisor in understanding business culture in Africa, “said the Director of African Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the prospective doctoral student of UNAIR.

The potential for success for African students was shown by UNAIR Master of Media and Communication student, Silas. He got many valuable opportunities from it. “While I was at UNAIR I have participated in cultural exchanges, mastered new language, and built international friendship networks. I have experienced it, and I can say that educational diplomacy is very important,” said Silas in Indonesian.

Dr. Jacky Mussry, on the other hand, was attending to notify the changing rate in education sector and the strategies that must be taken by stake holders. The current democratization of education makes universities not only compete at the domestic level, but also globally.

“The role of social capital through education is important. The government and stakeholders must start giving more budget and attention to scholarships and educational development. Because the competition in the future will be more complex and full of uncertainties, “he said.

In the seminar which was held online via Zoom and live streaming on Youtube, there was also Indonesian Ambassador to Africa Salman Al Farisi, Prof. Soedarso a former rector of UNAIR and Indonesian Ambassador to France, Indonesian business practitioner in Africa, Ir. Lenywati, as well as the main moderator and Head of the Center for African Studies FISIP UNAIR Dr. Pinky Saptandari, Dra., MA

Author: Intang Arifia

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

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