The Association of African Universities is in the process of establishing regional offices in the Northern, Western, Eastern, Central and Southern regions of Africa. This is to help the AAU get closer to its members and increase its impact in the Sub-regions. The regional offices will further present the opportunity for AAU to work collaboratively with its members in finding solutions to issues confronting them, and help respond to the broader mandate of improving higher education quality as recommended by the AU Agenda 2063 and other various strategies.
The establishment of the regional offices was one key task assigned to the AAU Secretariat by the AAU Governing during its last meeting in June 2017, in Accra-Ghana.
Since June last year, the Secretariat has been in discussions with some Governments and Members of AAU on the possibility of hosting these regional offices. These culminated into two working visits being paid by representatives from the Secretariat to Sudan and Egypt for face-to-face discussions on hosting arrangements.
In furtherance to earlier discussions, a three-member delegation from the University of Khartoum, Sudan have paid a two-day (January 18-19, 2018) working visit to the AAU Secretariat in line with hosting the Eastern Regional Office. The team was composed of Prof. Omer Mohamed Eltom Elshami (Head of the delegation), Dr. Faiza Mohammed Osman Mahmoud and Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed Babikar.
Hosting the regional office in Sudan presents the opportunity to project a positive image of the country and also strengthen relations between Higher Education Institutions in the region and therefore promote regional harmonization, said Prof. Omer.
The delegation was hosted by staff of the AAU, led by the Secretary General, Prof. Etienne Ehile. The meeting was formally chaired by Prof. Nicholas N.N. Nsowah, the AAU Vice President for West Africa.
Broadly, the AAU Regional Offices will be responsible in achieving the following objectives;
- To facilitate activities of the membership in the sub-regions in relation with the Secretariat;
- To pursue membership drive in order to increase and improve relations with existing and potential members;
- To enhance the role of governments at the sub-regional level in supporting the activities of the Association;
- To strengthen relationships among members and other development partners at the sub-regional levels;
- To promote knowledge sharing within the sub-region and with the other 4 sub-regions;
- To improve information sharing within members in the sub-region;
- To engage in fund-raising and resource mobilisation at the sub-regional level;
- To encourage active participation of the membership at the Community level;
- To actively promote collaboration among academia, civil society, private sector and governments at the sub-regional level;
- To promote collaboration among Centres of Excellence in Africa; and
- To work collectively with the other regional offices and the AAU Secretariat to support major educational strategies such as the CESA 16-25, STISA, TVET,
Whilst the AAU continuous to reach out to governments and institutions in line with hosting the regional offices, we are through this medium inviting all governments and institutions interested in hosting the regional offices to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussions.