UCT chancellor joins Harvard University Global Advisory Council

16 January 2023 | Story The Motsepe Foundation. Photo Robyn Walker. Read time 2 min.
UCT’s chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe
UCT’s chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) chancellor, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, has joined the Harvard University Global Advisory Council. The council represents a collective of influential leaders in business, academia, and government from different parts of the world, each of whom bring a unique perspective to the institution and its global growth.

Harvard University has an extensive global footprint. With schools on the continent in Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi, Dr Moloi-Motsepe hopes to strengthen knowledge exchanges between the institution and researchers based in Africa. Notable in her efforts, in 2020, she co-created the Motsepe Presidential Research Accelerator Fund for Africa. In support of faculty-led and student-driven research projects, the fund is awarded to researchers engaging in multidisciplinary collaboration between Harvard faculty and Africa-based academics, focusing on advancing key challenges and opportunities facing the continent.

Moloi-Motsepe, who began her term as chancellor of UCT in 2020, has been a longstanding contributor to Harvard University, having served as a council member of Harvard Women’s Leadership Board and the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership. Through various partnerships forged over the years, Moloi-Motsepe has also enabled access to the Harvard Social Innovation + Change Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School for social entrepreneurs.

At the Harvard Global Advisory Council, she joins influential leaders David M Rubenstein, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Charles Chen Yidan, and others.

“We congratulate Dr Moloi-Motsepe for joining this group of global leaders,” reads a statement shared by the Motsepe Foundation Trustees. “This network, and the opportunity to reinforce global affiliations, will amplify the work of the Motsepe Foundation. This is most applicable to the Motsepe Foundation efforts in education, as we search for innovative pathways to close gaps in accessing quality education and skills that will make Africa’s youth globally competitive.”

UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng wished Moloi-Motsepe well in her new role, saying it was aligned with UCT’s vision, which has a key focus on equipping researchers to find solutions for a more fair, just and sustainable world.

“Universities have a critical role to play through research – research that emanates from an understanding of local context – and in developing a capacity to enable society to solve its own problems. And we can do this better in partnership ... working with other institutions. To this end, I am grateful that the chancellor is doing work that supports our ideals as a university, working to advance African thought leadership in support of research aimed at addressing key challenges faced by our continent,” Professor Phakeng said.

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