The Politecnico di Milano is part of IHEA Foundation – "Italian Higher Education with Africa". It aims to offer a university-level, multi-purpose educational programme specifically designed to support universities and young professionals of Africa. It is the first pilot experience of Italian transnational education, born from the joint work with other academic partners: Università di Bologna, Università di Firenze, Università di Napoli Federico II, Università di Padova e La Sapienza-Università degli Studi di Roma.
Among the initiatives launched there is a specialising Master's degree course in “Sustainable management of resources and cultural heritage for local development”. It is offered to 35 Ethiopian lecturers and young researchers to support African universities by contributing to the upgrading of their staff and nurturing a qualified generation of new researchers. The aim is to strengthen cross-curricular knowledge on topics in line with the 2030 and 2063 Agendas and train young lecturers on two main topics: educational innovation and sustainability.
In July 2022, the Italian Cultural Institute of Addis Ababa made available its spaces and its logistical support, which made it possible to deliver a module of the Master's course in presence. Prof. Emanuela Colombo, Rector's Delegate to Cooperation and Development with a UNESCO Chair in Energy for Sustainable Development, and the SESAM research group of the Department of Energy held a series of lectures, including an interactive and innovative learning module, consisting of a Project Work on the topics of "Energy Resources, Power Technologies, Energy Scenarios and Planning".
The alumni community of the IHEA Foundation Master's degree will consolidate the heritage of relations between Italy and Ethiopia, enriching the opportunities of exchange between the respective cultural, economic, entrepreneurial and innovation systems.