Strategic Partnerships, Collaborative Centers, and Initiatives in Africa

2IE-Penn State Engagement Partnership

The 2IE-Penn State Collaborative Center creates a platform for building long-term collaborative multidisciplinary research and engaged educational experiences in West Africa, ultimately improving the social and environmental well-being of people and communities.

International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Penn State Engagement Champions

Nicole Webster
Jeffrey Brownson  

Key Activities

  • Exploratory research on energy efficient housing.
  • Graduate student participatory field research in Burkina Faso.
  • Partnered in a joint institutional proposal for $100m for the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change call, Building the eXchange. This has evolved into a developing Water-Energy-Food initiative in West Africa.



The Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa (AESEDA) serves as a coordinating body that promotes Penn State’s engagement in Africa. Its mission is to help build partnerships with African institutions that develop and foster collaboration and mutually beneficial programs. The emphasis is on programs that integrate research with education, while improving the human condition and enhancing economic vitality for African populations. AESEDA operates within Earth and Mineral Sciences and is a vital component of the University’s Global Penn State initiative.

For more information contact Gregory Jenkins, Professor of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences.

The University of Cape Town (South Africa)

The University of Cape Town (UCT) and Penn State have a long history of collaboration across several colleges (faculties) including the Liberal Arts, the Law School, the College of Health and Human Development and Earth and Mineral Sciences. 

Penn State Law has an ongoing student exchange program with UCT. There has also been a long term collaboration in climate change research between Penn State and the Climate Systems Analysis Group and the African Climate and Development Initiative.

Staff at UCT were instrumental in establishing a Penn State semester abroad program in the Eastern Cape (Parks and People- South Africa) and have participated in the program every year since its initiation in 2010.

The University of Cape Town is also one of the founding members of the Pan Institutional Network on Global Health along with Penn State, University of Freiburg (Germany), Savitribai Phule Pune University (India), University of Limpopo (South Africa), and the University of the West Indies.  Mountcrest University College (Ghana) recently joined the network.