On the Second Day of the Trip to Mali;
ICT Park’s President and the Accompanying Delegation Visited Mali's Kabala University
At the start of this meeting, Mr. Binke Kone, the President of Kabala University, welcomed the Iranian delegation and explained the history of this university: “Kabala University, as one of the most modern universities of Mali, was tasked by Mali's Ministry of Higher Education and Research for the establishment of a university science park,” he said.
Stating that Kabala University is considered a relatively comprehensive university, he introduced various departments of the university, including research institutions, as well as the university's laboratories, and noted that during a field visit to this university, his colleagues will demonstrate all the available facilities.
“Our university was established in 2010 by the order of Mali’s President at the time and opened in 2012. The main task of this college is education. Research activities are also carried out in this college, and there are students at both undergraduate and graduate levels. They are also prepared to offer educational services at the postgraduate level. Master's degrees in mining engineering, agricultural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, accounting, management, urban geography management, and economic management are offered too. Considering Mali's economic situation, we should increase the number of these fields of study to 50 fields, including hotel management, tourism, and handicrafts. We have also specialized laboratories for agriculture and water resource management. Following the development program of Mali, we plan to establish other laboratories too. Our university is the most modern university in Mali and plays a significant role in the development of our country's economic system,” the president of Kabala University added.
Referring to the task given to Kabala University by Mali’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the President of this university requested that ICT Park’s President provides an explanation regarding the necessary steps for establishing such a park in the Kabala University complex.
Later, Dr. Mohammad Jafar Sadigh Damghanizadeh, the Advisor to the Minister and the President of ICT Park, compared the characteristics of the first, second, and third-generation universities: “First and second-generation universities are supposed to train the human resources needed by society and produce research products. In third-generation universities, in addition to training human resources, human resources are trained in the form of cores and small companies. In other words, the output of third-generation universities is not limited to graduates in different fields; small startup companies are their output, too. In addition to what first and second-generation universities have, third-generation universities have innovation centers. At third-generation universities, we help students and professors turn their ideas for productions into products and small companies by providing them with special programs and financing. This aim requires careful and special planning,” he said.
Iran’s Advisor to the Minister of ICT shared his management experience at University of Tehran’s Science and Technology Park regarding turning this university into an entrepreneurial university: "I recommend that you lead the universities of your country towards the third-generation universities. It is possible that a second-generation university moves toward entrepreneurship simultaneously. In Tehran, Mr. Ahmadu, Mali's honorable Minister of Science, asked us to share our experiences in the field of park management with the Mali. Because of my personal interest in academia, I decided to gift these experiences completely free of charge to Kabala University and Mali's Ministry of Science. It should be noted that this special offer is only for this Malliean University," he added.
Then, the President of ICT Park further described the process of setting up an innovation center in a university: "When concluding a cooperation MoU, the stages of setting up this innovation center, the executive structure, and even the required staff will be determined precisely. It is noteworthy that, in Iran, we are prepared to provide relevant practical training to the staff. The practical result of this contract is that within six months from the conclusion of the contract, the innovation center will be capable to start operating and accept innovative cores," he said.
"The next step after the center becoming operative is to allocate a space equal to 500 to 1000 square meters in the university to set up this innovation center. This complex will require an executive staff of 2 to 3, whose training will be the responsibility of ICT Park," he continued.
The President of ICT Park considered the next step to be the development of technical mechanisms and processes related to the management of the innovation center and the science and technology park: "Most of these processes are undertaken using various software, and, considering the many years of park management experiences that we have in our country. We, at the ICT Park, are ready to transfer these experiences to Kabala University," he added.
As the visit continued, the President of ICT Park and the accompanying delegation had a field visit to various departments of this university, including technical faculties, engineering laboratories, and research institutes to become more familiar with the potentials of Kabala University.
It is noteworthy that, in addition to the university officials and higher education officials of Mali, Mr. Taleshi, the ambassador of Iran in Bamako, also accompanied the President of ICT Park during his visit to the University of Bamako.
It is worth mentioning that, earlier, the President of ICT Park and the accompanying delegation met with Mr. Ahmadu Kita, Mali's Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.