In 2004 the University of Torino established a Cooperation Agreement with Makerere University and this has been constantly renewed through the years. The cooperation promotes joint scientific and didactic activities in the field of Anthropology, Sociology and in the study and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Great Lakes region. Research activities have been constantly supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Italian Ethnological Mission in Equatorial Africa (http://www.missioneetnologica.unito.it/homengl.htm)
In this framework, several Italian and Ugandan students and scholars have had the opportunity to spend a research period in the partner institution. Since 2017 the Torino-Makerere Cooperation has benefited from the financial support of the Erasmus Partner Countries Programme (EU), allowing a more systematic development of student, teacher and staff mobilities within the two-partner institutions. The Erasmus Partner Countries programme has already been renewed up to 2020.
Under the Erasmus Partner Countries Programme, two Professors from the University of Turin have been teaching audited courses to graduate students in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Makerere University. Prof. Cecilia Pennacini has been teaching Ethnographic Methodology and Visual Anthropology and Prof. Elana Ochse has taught English Debating and Writing Skills.
On 3rd October 2017, the two Professors delivered presentations on the Makerere-University of Turin Cooperation programme. The event held in the School of Women and Gender Studies Conference Hall at Makerere University was graced by the Italian Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Domenico Fornara, and the Head of the EU Delegation in Uganda, H.E Attilio Pacifici.
Prof. Elana Ochse delivered a presentation titled, “The Erasmus Programme: from Europe to Africa” and Prof. Cecilia Pennacini talked about “the Italian Research in the Great Lakes Region: Past, Present and Future Cooperation”. Prof. Ochse noted that the Erasmus programme aims to among other things reduce unemployment, especially among young people; promote adult learning, especially in the new skills; to support innovation, cooperation and reform and to promote mobility and cooperation with the EU’s partner countries.
In his remarks, H.E Attilio Pacifici said the European Union contributes to the Torino-Makerere Cooperation through the Erasmus Partner Countries Programme which provides the financial means allowing a more systematic development of student, teacher and staff mobility within the two-partner institution. “The Erasmus Partner Countries Programme is designed on a key instrument, the Erasmus programme, which started as a student exchange programme in 1987 and which was later on reshaped and improved to form the current Erasmus+. This programme promotes above all cooperation and understanding among the people who through their work and researches contribute so much to shape our present and forge our future while ensuring that no one forgets our past. It also boost skills and employability, as well as modernising Education, Training, and Youth work. Erasmus+ supports transnational partnerships among Education, Training, and Youth institutions. It also supports national efforts to modernise Education, Training, and Youth systems,” he said.