Established in 2006, Periperi U is a platform for university partnership to reduce disaster risks in Africa. It stands for ‘Partners Enhancing Resilience of People Exposed to Risks’ – with a special focus on advancing university action on risk and vulnerability reduction in Africa.
The partnership’s accomplishments this year underline its growing profile internationally. Of particular note, was Periperi U’s recognition as an International Centre of Excellence (ICoE) for the global Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Programme, with a specific focus on Risk Education and Learning (REaL).Yet, while Periperi U’s achievement of ICoE-REaL status reflects the consortium’s growing credibility in contemporary risk scholarship, this has also been accompanied by new challenges. These derive from an expanding remit across multiple scales, as student demand increases for disaster risk-related university education, (sub) national authorities request disaster risk training and research support, regional and continental commissions expand their engagement in the field – and international partners seek experienced African risk researchers.
The 2013/14 report illustrates these tensions as partners have juggled to balance local and university commitments with engagement in continental and global processes to ensure that African risk priorities are not excluded in the run-up to the WCDRR in Sendai.