Summit discusses how to revitalize higher education in Africa

ADEA participated in the organization of the African Higher Education Summit on Revitalizing Higher Education for Africa’s Future, which took place in Dakar, Senegal, March 10 -12, 2015. 

One of the main objectives of the Summit was to create a continental multi-stakeholders’ platform to identify strategies for transforming the African higher education sector.

ADEA drafted 7 policy briefs to inform the meeting on the following issues: quality, excellence and relevance; higher education and gender; the role of research and post-graduate studies in African higher education; business, higher education and graduate employability; harmonization; differentiation and diversification; science, technology and innovation. 

In addition, Oley Dibba-Wadda, ADEA’s Executive Secretary, participated in a panel on higher education and gender and in a session organized by Ford Foundation on “Expanding African Youth Opportunity”. During the latter session philanthropies explored the concerning state of youth employment and Education in Africa and to identified opportunities for coordination and partnership in order to improve collective impact.

The Summit was hosted by the government of Senegal and organized by Trust Africa, several pan-African organizations including the African Union Commission (AUC), the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the United Nations Africa Institute for Development and Economic Planning (IDEP), the Association of African Universities (AAU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and ADEA. The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa was also part of the consortium. International partners included the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY), MasterCard Foundation, and the World Bank.

Over 500 participants attended the Summit, drawn from the following stakeholders: Governments, including Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Ministers of Education, Science and Technology, Commerce and Finance; Academics and administrators of higher education institutions; Academic and non-academic unions; students associations; employers and business leaders from the public and private sectors; donors – foundations, bilateral and multilateral agencies; families and citizens. 

High level personalities present included the following:  President Macky Sall of Senegal, also Chair of the NEPAD Heads of State Orientation Committee; Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of The African Union Commission; and Koffi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations.

The Summit explored a number of topics including the following:  investments in higher education; equity and access; higher education, nation building and citizenship; harmonization of African universities; differentiation and diversification,  higher education and graduate employability; quality, excellence and relevance; higher education and gender; governance of African higher education; the role of research and postgraduate studies in African higher education; science, technology and innovation. 

 The Summit produced a draft declaration and action plan. 

 Read the Draft Declaration and Action Plan

 Read the Policy Briefs produced by ADEA for the Summit

 Read Press Releases

 View Summit Website