A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


Vi member, the University of Mauritius (UOM), recently benefited from expert lectures on international transport and logistics from UNCTAD's Trade Facilitation Chief, Jan Hoffmann.

More than 20 students and professors from the Master of Business Administration attended the classes held May 5-9. The lectures covered the areas of globalization, transport costs, logistic services and transport modes, business key players, the challenges and opportunities of connectivity and the role of trade facilitation. The course culminated with a visit to a local port authority.

"Jan went much beyond our expectations by giving real data and presenting cases of successful restructuring of ports, as well as those which did not do too well. He even discussed some of the empirical research works that UNCTAD did (and of which he was also an author)," said UOM professor, Sawkut Rojid.

"The students were very keen and motivated - much beyond just an interest in passing an examination," Hoffmann said. "Only few of them had actual prior experience or knowledge in logistics or transport - but a large majority worked in companies involved in foreign trade, and thus also international logistics."

Hoffman's work complemented extensive lectures covering theoretical aspects of international logistics with practical experience from Mauritius given by local lecturer, Ken Poonoosamy, of the Board of Investment in Mauritius.

The Vi coordinated Hoffman's guest lectures as part of the programme's services to assist members with student teaching and with capacity building of local professors, who will progressively integrate UNCTAD's material into their own courses.

"For next year, one lecturer from Mauritius will cover at least half of what Jan covered this year in the presence of Jan, and then Jan will cover the rest. This is to make sure that we are going in the right direction," Rojid added.