Skip to main content


The PFUE event organized in Marseille by Aix-Marseille University and CIVIS, the European Civic University that it coordinates, is a continuation of the event organized in Marseille by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) on international cooperation.

On March 10, the flagship conference of this event took place, placing Europe-Africa relations, the central theme of the new French Presidency and the CIVIS Alliance, at the heart of the debates. Come and relive the conference on the capacity of European university alliances to co-build innovative partnerships with African universities in research, training and innovation!

  • Wednesday, March 9 - Opening Ceremony

    Opening ceremony

    These three days of meetings began on March 9 at 7pm with the opening ceremony in the presence of :

    • Eric Berton, President of Aix-Marseille University
    • Serge Jaumain, Advisor to the Rector for Cooperation, Université Libre de Bruxelles
    • Aurélie Biancarelli-Lopez, Deputy Mayor of Marseille, Delegate for Higher Education, Student Life and Research
  • Thursday, March 10 - Public Conference

    European universities between territorial integration and global ambition: a new dynamic for the Europe-Africa partnership

    The conference began with an introduction by the President of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the CIVIS Alliance, Annemie Schaus , followed by speeches by :

    • Achille Mbembe, Cameroonian historian, political scientist and university lecturer emeritus of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa
    • Peter Maassen, professor at the universities of Oslo in Norway and Stellenbosch in South Africa

    Two round tables followed this morning:

    How can European university alliances fuel European and African partnerships and the global dimension of higher education?

    • Tine Delva, DG EAC, European Commission,
    • Nienke Buisman, Head of Unit, Global Approach and International Cooperation in R&I, International Cooperation II: Asia, Africa, Middle East and External Relations, European Commission
    • Abdelwahed Mokni, President, University of Sfax
    • Orlando Antonio Quilambo, Rector, Eduardo Mondlane University
    • Zeblon Vilakazi, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Witwatersrand,
    • Monique Scheer, Vice-Rector, University of Tübingen,
    • Gregor Majdič, Rector, University of Ljubljana, European University EUTOPIA.

    How can European university alliances respond to global challenges in collaboration with African partners?

    • Khady Diouf Goudiaby, Head of Division Project Funding Support, Directorate of Research and Innovation, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar,
    • Rachid Saile, Vice President, Hassan II University of Casablanca,
    • Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Makerere University,
    • Serge Jaumain, Advisor to the Rector, Université libre de Bruxelles,
    • Deirdre Lennan, DG INTPA, European Commission.

    If you too are interested in this issue and share CIVIS' ambition to advance global partnerships, discover the replay of this conference!

In parallel to the PFUE events, activities reserved for the CIVIS community fueled the debate and served as a laboratory for enhanced cooperation in higher education between Europe and Africa.

  • Wednesday March 9th


    From 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, CIVIS members and their African partners were invited to reflect in several working groups on the best way to make their collaboration fruitful in terms of research, training, mobility...

  • Thursday March 10th

    Workshops (2nd part)

    From 2:30 to 4:30 pm, the guests present in Marseille tried to initiate and structure their collaboration around the different CIVIS Hubs:

    • Health
    • Cities, territories and mobility
    • Digital and technological transformation
    • Climate, environment and energy
    • Society, culture and heritage
  • Friday, March 11th

    Signing ceremony

    These three days of reflection and exchange have resulted in the signing of an ambitious partnership agreement, providing the necessary framework for future innovative collaborations. This new agreement institutionalizes, among other things, the cooperation between the 6 African universities and all the members of the Alliance and its members.

    Student Panel

    Through this panel, European and African students were invited to join the discussion on the role of European universities in the development of relations between Europe and Africa.

    Several speakers participated:

    • Wiktoria M. Wernicka (Stockholm University, Secretary of the CIVIS Students Council)

    • Tim Penninger (University of Tübingen, President of the CIVIS Students Council)

    • Pauline Ravinet (Policy officer, DG EAC, European Commission)