A 14-person delegation from the west-central African nation of Gabon – including Gabonese education minister Séraphin Moundounga – are at the University of Oregon today.
The group is on tour of universities, community colleges and vocational schools in the Western United States, arranged by the U.S. Department of State.
The Gabonese delegation visited Sacramento and the San Francisco area before coming to Eugene. A trip to Corvallis with stops on Tuesday at Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University are next on the agenda.
The UO and OSU were included on the group's itinerary because of a partnership agreement signed late last year to create a new Gabon-Oregon Transnational Research Center on Environment and Development.
The Gabon/Oregon Center is expected to encourage research and outreach that touches on the sustainability challenges and opportunities of Gabon and other societies that are facing or have dealt with similar issues.
UO faculty will receive information on how to apply for seed grants and other funds to support research, programming and outreach on sustainable development-related topics involving Gabon soon after the center launches this year.