The Second SAAM Seminar: A Journey Towards Internationalization

 The Second SAAM Seminar:

A Journey Towards Internationalization

The second international training seminar organized by SAAM on the theme “A journey towards internationalization” took place in Brussels from 28th February to 2nd March 2023.

The event was attended by 60 participants from 24 different African and European countries. The seminar focused on how to define an internationalization strategy so that the centers involved in the SAAM project can continue to engage in exchanges between Africa and Europe after the funding period ends. The SAAM seminar aimed to encourage new partnerships, join existing networks, and encourage other centers to do the same.

The seminar featured keynote speakers from the European Commission and the African Union who shared their knowledge and expertise. Experts from the partnership conducted workshops, and the SAAM team presented the latest project achievements. The event took place at the EVBB facilities in Brussels and was hosted in collaboration by EVBB and EfVET. San Viator International promoted the seminar, while Asociación Mundus coordinated the event.

The first day of the seminar consisted of a brief opening by Alfredo Garmendia (San Viator), Sergio Lagarde Cabañero (Asociación Mundus), and the hosts Valentina Chanina (EfVET) and Theodor Grassos, Secretary General of EVBB. The sessions focused on the importance of networking and strategic partnerships between Africa and Europe. The keynote speakers spoke about strategic partnerships between Africa and Europe, while experts presented the GRETA partnership and the SAAM network as good practices of networking and sustainability assurance. In the afternoon, Ms. Unami Mpofu and Mr. Theodor Grassos continued with the presentation of good networking practices.

The second day of the seminar focused on funding opportunities, project design, and good networking practices. The participants had the opportunity to participate in very fruitful workshops. The project officers at Education, Audiovisual, and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) presented funding opportunities for African entities to be partners or applicants in the Erasmus+ program. The workshop also offered tips and presented tools to find such opportunities. Mr. Ntale Geofrey spoke about his experience as an African entity with an Erasmus+ funded project, while Mr. Mirco Trielli talked about the preparation of students to participate in a SAAM mobility. Annett Wiedermann presented the YES Forum network.

The third day of the seminar included sessions on internationalization, good networking practices, and the latest advances in the SAAM project. Speakers included Ms. Deirdre Lennan from the European Commission, Ms. Claire Herrmann from the DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, Mr. Alfredo Garmendia from San Viator International, and Ms. Prof. Dr. Dolores Sanchez Bengoa from the University of Applied Management Studies of Mannheim and member of EVBB board. Ms. Valentina Chanina presented EfVET as a good example of a network, while Ms. Katerina Michou talked about the state-of-art of the African VET System (SAAM Work Package 4).

The SAAM seminar provided a valuable opportunity for participants to learn about internationalization strategies, network with experts from different countries, and explore funding opportunities. The seminars and workshops were informative and engaging, and the keynote speakers shared their knowledge and expertise. The SAAM team did an excellent job of coordinating the event, and the hosts provided a comfortable and conducive environment for learning and networking. Overall, the SAAM seminar was a success, and it is expected to inspire more exchanges and collaborations between Africa and Europe.