The Association of African Universities (AAU) will hold its 14th General Conference and Golden Jubilee Celebration from June 5-8 in Accra to discuss the way forward for higher education in Africa.
The two historic events, on the theme: “AAU at 50, Achievements, Challenges and Prospects for Sustainable Development in Africa,” would discuss how to promote higher education in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
More than 500 executives from academia and industry across the African continent would be taking part in the events.
The events would be hosted by the Government, the National Council for Tertiary Education and the Vice Chancellors Association.
The upcoming conference is the highest decision making body of the AAU and is an assembly of representatives of the more than 380 member institutions across Africa.
AAU’s vision is to be the leading advocate for African Higher Education with the capacity to provide support for its member institutions to meet the national, continental and global needs.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra, Professor Etienne E. Ehile, the Secretary General of the AAU, said the AAU was committed to promoting higher education in Africa.
He said topics to be discussed include Promoting Science, Technology and Innovation through Higher Education, and the Role of Higher Education in Managing the Environment.
The rest are Curriculum Reform as Key to Graduate Employability and Entrepreneurship, Mobilising Resources for Higher Education in Africa, and Higher Education as a Tool for Promoting Democratic Governance.
Prof. Ehile said with the structure of the General Conference there would be business sessions, scientific presentations and panel discussions as well as pre-conference events including online discussions among other things.
Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said the general economic trend within the continent did not permit African institutions to live up to institutional levels elsewhere.
He stressed the need for universities to come together and get their governments understands the role of tertiary education in national development.
“We need the support of all stakeholders including educationists, politicians and the media to highlight the importance of tertiary education within the African educational landscape,” he said.
Prof. Mohammed Salifu, the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education, said education was one of the key aspects of the developmental challenges; however, resolving such challenges had got to do with how the continent managed her human resource.
He said as a continent there was the need for certain critical minds to be appropriately trained to be able to deliver on the continental objectives.
He tasked the media to project the achievements of the AAU in line with its 50 years of existence and create avenues to discuss the key problems that the educational sector faces.
“We do have challenges but we also have significant successes that we have achieved not just at the level of our country but across the continent,” he said.