Dear Vice Chancellors, Presidents and Rectors of African Universities,
The Association of African Universities (AAU), as the voice for higher education in Africa, wishes to extend her appreciation and congratulations to Dr. Martial de Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology of the African Union Commission, and to the entire Commission for the vision in developing the decade-long Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-2025).
We are happy to note that the Heads of State and Governments of Africa, during their twenty-sixth Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa on 31 January 2016 adopted the Strategy as the framework for transformative education and training system in Africa.
As the AAU moves into the next 50 years, it envisions itself as a key player and instrument to facilitate the achievement of the African Union’s vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” The AAU recognizes her critical role in developing and promoting knowledge societies fueled by skilled human capital. In this vein, we place much emphasis on leadership development, women and youth development, inclusive and equitable education, use of ICTs for educational development, good governance and accountability in education management.
The AAU will continue to promote continental integration through programmes which promote intra-Africa mobility, regional cooperation and harmonized education and training systems. The AAU also believes in promoting quality and relevance of education and training systems, which enhances scientific and technological innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. We will continue to support research which addresses Africa’s developmental needs, such as youth unemployment, health, climate change and environmental sustainability.
The AAU has incorporated the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and CESA 2025 in her new five-year Strategic Plan (2016 – 2020) to be approved by the Governing Board and ratified at the Association’s next General Conference. In the Plan, we have re-echoed the appeal of the AU “calling upon the Member States, RECs, Partners, Private Sector, and NEPAD to popularize and raise awareness on CESA 2016-2025, …. develop implementation plans, and mobilize domestic resources for its implementation, ….and collaborate with the Commission towards the implementation of the CESA”.
We also reiterate the call to action by the AU on CESA 2025 that “the adoption of the strategy, although significant, has no meaning if steps are not taken to implement it”. It is therefore our hope that the current educational initiatives in Africa, such as: the Pan African University; the World Bank Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) Project; ECOWAS Nnamdi Azikiwe Academic Mobility Scheme (ENAAMS); the upcoming Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET); and future ones will help attain all the objectives of the continental strategy.
Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile, Secretary-General
Association of African Universities, Accra, Ghana