Universities and other higher education institutions (HEIs) in Africa are yearning for a reorientation and alignment of their institutions to make them more competitive on the global educational landscape as well as relevant to society. It is for this purpose that the AAU Leadership Development (LEDEV) workshops are organised to enhance the leadership skills of university leaders to respond to the continuous changes in higher education delivery, particularly in the promotion of innovation and the management of change in their institutions.
The AAU LEDEV workshops, like its other flagship capacity-building workshops, fall under Key Results Area One (Strengthening HEIs Delivery Capacity in Africa) of the current AAU Strategic Plan spanning 2016 -2020.
Workshop Participants :The LEDEV workshops are intended primarily for the top echelon of university leaders, comprising Rectors, Presidents, Principals and Vice Chancellors; Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Rectors, and Vice-Presidents; Directors of Institutes, Deans of Faculties; and Members of University Councils as well as Heads and Deputy Heads of higher education regulatory agencies.
This workshop, hosted from 4-8 September 2017 in Ghana, drew together 34 participants, 18% of whom were females. Three of the participants were members of the AAU Board, of which two were Vice Presidents. The academic positions of the participants comprised a member of a University Council, Vice Chancellors/Presidents and Deputy Chancellors, Academic Registrars, Directors, and Deans/Assistant Deans, Head of Department, and other senior level staff. These participants have come from 25 institutions in the following 11 countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Venue, Facilitators and Modules :The 11th LEDEV workshop was held at Royal Lee’s Hotel at Tutu Akuapem in Ghana from 4 – 8 September, 2017 and was facilitated by Prof. PAI Obanya from Nigeria, who led the Strategic Planning in African Universities module; Prof. Paul Ventura from Oregon in the USA who facilitated the module on Sustainable Strategies for Resource Mobilisation; and Rosemond Boohene from Ghana who presented the Entrepreneurship in Higher Education module.
Summary of Proceedings: In his Opening Address on Tuesday 4th September, the Secretary-General of the AAU, Prof. Etienne Ehile, noted that the increasing demand for world-class education against budget constraints suggest that universities should more and more take charge of their own destiny as we move through the 21st century. It is for this reason that the AAU LEDEV workshops avail participants with various experiences garnered from their interaction with their peers, from the resource persons, and from various case materials that are shared at the workshop to sharpen their skills in managing their institutions. The Opening Ceremony was followed by module presentations on Strategic Planning, Resource Mobilisation and Entrepreneurship, respectively in the preceding three days. Prof. Nicholas N. N. Nsowah-Nuamah, a Vice President of the AAU and also a participant of the workshop, closed the workshop on Friday 8th September. He expressed gratitude to all for their active participation in all the sessions of the workshop and hoped the lessons learned would be put to good use when participants return to their institutions.
Acknowledgement: The AAU wishes to acknowledge the financial contribution of the African Capacity Building Foundation, which presented part funding for the workshop. Gratitude also goes to all resource persons of the workshop and the participants for making the workshop a big success. Special appreciation also goes to Ashesi University at Berekuso which hosted the workshop participants on Wednesday 6th September on an experiential tour.
Next Workshop to be hosted: The next LEDEV workshop would be held in the first quarter of 2018 at a venue to be announced later.
Article Submitted by: Ransford Bekoe (Workshop coordinator)