Positioning Academia to respond to Africa’s growing demand through Skills Development – The African Economic Platform


As part of implementing the Agenda 2063, the African Union Commission held its first African Economic Platform (AEP) in Port Louis, Mauritius 19 to 21 March, 2017. The Platform brought together Senior Africa policy makers, Academia, and Business as a means of gaining a collectively owned framework for supporting development in the continent with commitment from African leaders.

The dialogue focused on four themes; Skills Development; Expanding Opportunities for Intra African Trade; Industrialization and Regional Value Chains; and Free Movement of People. Three of these themes directly relate to RUFORUM’s thrusts, i.e., Skills development, Promoting academic mobility across the continent and strengthening regional value chains. RUFORUM delegation led by the RUFORUM Board Chair and Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Prof. Mabel Imbuga represented academia. Prof. Imbuga led the discussion on Industrialization and Regional Value Chains, while Dr Moses Osiru, RUFORUM Deputy Executive Secretary, participated in the session on  Skills development and free movement of people, a theme that directly relate to the  RUFORUM initiative on promoting academic mobility across the continent through the RUFORUM Graduate Teaching Assistantship programme (GTA) and the Regional Centres of Excellence. The GTA was established by RUFORUM Vice Chancellors (66 from 26 African countries) to increase the pool of PhD trained staff by training their staff in other RUFORUM member universities. Under the GTA arrangement the receiving university waives fees and provides accommodation for the academic staff from another university, while the sending university pays for upkeep and research of its staff under training. The programme aims to train 325 PhD staff over the next five years.

His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, the newly appointed AU Commission chairperson welcomed the initiative of the African Economic Platform as it will facilitate the implementation of the Africa Agenda 2063 framework. “We can reach that tipping point of sustained growth and transformation”, he said.

During the closing ceremony, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, the Executive Secretary of RUFORUM thanked the African Union for setting up the Committee of 10 African Heads of State to champion Education, Science and Technology development in the continent under coordination of His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal. The Committee of 10 Heads of State will meet in Malawi in June 2017 at the invitation of His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, and the meeting will involve academia, private sector leaders and other High Networth persons.

Above from Left to Right: Prof. Amadou Tidiane – Vice Chancellor of University Sine Saloum El hadj Ibrahima NIASS (Senegal), Dr. Moses Osiru- Deputy Executive Secretary of RUFORUM, H.E Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim President of Mauritius, Mr. Tony Elumelu-African Philanthropist (Nigeria), Prof. Mary Okwakol- Vice Chancellor of Busitema University (Uganda) and Prof. Adipala Ekwamu-Executive Secretary of RUFORUM at the State House meeting in Mauritius during the AEP Week.

In his vote of thanks, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu urged African Governments to increase investments in Higher Education in Africa and to provide an enabling environment for private sector engagement to support Africa’s development.  He further urged the private sector to engage with African Universities to support their business research, and to help the universities train for the market. He further noted with appreciation efforts of Mr. Tony Elumelu’ s Foundation  to skill 10,000 young entrepreneurs and creating over 1 million jobs for Africa.

Download full Press Release here.

Building the Africa we want: Connect with us by sharing your story


RUFORUM is pleased to launch the Online Impact Platform which showcases your stories of Impact from the Continent. Join us by sharing your Impact stories by submitting them at http://ruforum.org/impact/

Seasonal Greetings from RUFORUM


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The RUFORUM Secretariat appreciates your continued support and wishes you a Happy Holiday as we look forward to more fruitful partnerships in 2017.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

African Union Chairperson announces a Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government to Champion Higher Education in Africa


Her Excellency Dr. Nkosasana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the fifth Biennial Conference and Higher Education Week in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo Credit: Aletta Harrison

Her Excellency Dr. Nkosasana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the fifth Biennial Conference and Higher Education Week in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo Credit: Aletta Harrison

Ten African Heads of State and Government have been constituted into a Committee to champion Higher Education, Science and Technology in Africa, as part of the efforts to strengthen the role of Science and Technology to enhance the realization of economic growth on the continent.

This announcement was made by Her Excellency, Dr. Nkosasana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the opening Ceremony of the Regional University Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Fifth Biennial Conference and African Higher Education Week, 2016. The event took place on the 18th October, 2016 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Committee of 10, will support the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa and ensure that Science, Technology and Innovation can be used to drive economic growth in Africa.

The Committee of 10 will be coordinated by the His Excellency Macky Sall, President of Senegal and include two Heads of State from each of the five African regions. Below is the list of the 10 Heads of State;

No. Region Country Member
1.        West Africa

 

Senegal President Macky Sall
2.        Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Karoma
3.        North Africa

 

Egypt President Abdel Fattah El Sisi
4.        Tunisia President Beji Caid Essebsi
5.        Southern Africa Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika
6.        Namibia President Have Geingob
7.        Eastern Africa Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta
8.        Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
9.        Central Africa Chad President Idriss Deby Itno
10.    Gabon President Bongo Odimba

The RUFORUM Board Chair and Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Prof. Mabel Imbuga thanked the African Union for putting in place the Committee of 10, which she heralded as a major milestone in the efforts to achieve Agenda 2063 – Building the Africa We want.

She confirmed the readiness of the RUFORUM Network to implement actions to strengthen Higher Education and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) development in Africa. Click here to download the full press release.