In spite of the context of a global crisis derived from the Covid-19 pandemic and all its socio-economic consequences, an ALDU (African Language Development Unit) has been created in each of the four SA partner institutions in the BAQONDE project. The over-arching governing body is the Inter-institutional Board of ALDUs, consisting of the persons heading up each of the four ALDUs.
The Board of ALDUs has existed since the first year of the project, and although there has been a delay in the establishment of these units and their coordination, a number of cooperative efforts coordinated or shared mostly among the leaders at each of the BAQONDE SA partner institutions already show the relevance of this ongoing inter-institutional collaboration. A clear example of this has been the planning of some of the training activities (jointly with the EU BAQONDE partners), especially training offered by the SA partner universities. Likewise, dissemination initiatives (e.g. NWU’s Language Awareness Weeks in 2021 as well as UKZN events such as International Translation Day celebrations, involving some of the partner institutions) or other one-on-one collaborations between UWC and Rhodes are also great instances of the importance of working together in accelerating the linguistic transformation envisioned by this project. It is the role of the Inter-institutional Board of ALDUs to lead this process and develop more effective strategies both in the short and the long term.