Welcome to Periperi U

The ‘Partners Enhancing Resilience of People Exposed to Risks’ (PERIPERI U) partnership represents a collaboration of 12 higher education institutions (HEIs) spanning Africa, committed to advancing disaster risk-related scholarship in support of sustainable development. Established in 2006 with five universities, the partnership has grown incrementally, and now offers 21 disaster risk-related academic programmes along with 26 modules and courses nested in other disciplines. Beyond the level of individual universities, the partnership has self-organised to ensure its mobilisation as a collective, and represents African academia on the continent-wide African Working Group for Disaster Risk Reduction (AWGDRR). In addition, as a consortium, Periperi U is a recognised Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) International Centre of Excellence in Risk Education and Learning (ICoE REaL), coordinated by Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Periperi U is a platform for university partnership to reduce disaster risks in Africa, with a special focus on advancing university action on risk and vulnerability reduction in Africa. From 2006-2007 Periperi U began with a ‘pilot-test’ year in four academic institutions located in Algeria, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania. This resulted in six locally relevant risk reduction short courses being conducted by four institutions that reached over 170 practitioners and students – covering a broad portfolio of topics, from seismic vulnerability to community risk assessment. The clear successes from the pilot year provided confidence for the partnership to expand its activities more broadly across Africa. With the aim of strengthening disaster risk-related teaching and learning capacity in institutions across East, West and Southern Africa, the partnership has now grown to include ten universities from Algiers to Antananarivo, and from Dakar to Bahir Dar. With a solid foundation and growing demand, partnership members are continuing to develop their formal academic programmes related to disaster risk with the goal of further strengthening skilled human capacity in this field in Africa.

This collective effort is practically reflected in:

  • New applied academic programmes that are generating urgently needed local disaster risk reduction professionals in Africa

  • Regular, accessible and practical disaster risk related short courses in local languages that are offered to government and civil society practitioners.

  • A surge in research of local disaster risks that that has improved the knowledge base for disaster risk management planning.
  • Opportunities for partnership members to learn from their colleagues experience through flexible exchange visits.