Higher Education stakeholders from Africa and across the world are meeting in Egypt from 8-11 July 2019 to discuss critical issues and priorities for the advancement of this sector of the African economy. The 20th COREVIP is organized by the Association of African Universities in collaboration with the Arab Republic of Egypt and Al-Azhar University. Over 1,400 participants gathered for the opening ceremony which took place at the Al-Azhar International Conference Center in Egypt.
Participants of this well-attended conference include various rectors, vice chancellors, and presidents of African universities, as well ministers of education, development partners, student associations, service providers of higher education and industry players. Representatives from sub-regional, regional and international organisations are also in attendance.
The theme for this year’s conference is “The Role of Higher Education Institutions in Promoting the Continental Education for Strategy for Africa (CESA 16 -25).” The seven subthemes of the conference reflect the strategic objectives of CESA 16-25. They focus on science and mathematics curricula, expanding TVET opportunities at tertiary levels, revitalizing and expanding tertiary education, research and innovation, promoting mobility through harmonization of quality assurance and accreditation systems, among other key themes.
The Conference is providing an excellent opportunity for leaders of African higher education institutions, particularly the current member institutions of the AAU, to exchange experiences and draw on the lessons and discussions of the conference themes. It is also providing the opportunity for the various stakeholders to collectively chart the way forward and come out with practical ways of ensuring that they work towards the achievement of the goals of CESA 16 -25, and the African Union’s Agenda 2023 – The Africa We Want.
In his speech, the President of Al-Azhar University, Prof. Mohamed El-Mahrasawy, warmly welcomed participants to Egypt and elaborated on the various initiatives being implemented by the Al-Azhar University in collaboration with the AAU. He referenced the African Universities Olympics, and the hosting of the North Africa Regional Office ( NARO) of the AAU. He indicated the commitment of the university to ensure that they work hand in hand with all North African Higher Education Institutions under the AAU NARO office.
Addressing participants, Prof. Orlando Quilambo, the President of the Association of African Universities called on all stakeholders to contribute effectively, in their own small ways, to ensure that Higher Education in Africa, is among the best in the world. He urged institutions to involve students and other stakeholders, through reforms in curricula, pedagogy and research, to engender more innovations that change lives of societies. Prof. Quilambo encouraged the inculcation of relevant skills such as critical thinking, effective communication, entrepreneurship and adaptability, to enhance the employability of graduates. He called on governments, industry and policy making institutions, to ‘work to improve investments in higher education to help achieve 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’.
For his part, the Secretary General of the AAU, Professor Etienne Ehile mentioned how crucial it was for academics to position themselves strategically to take advantage of the various opportunities presented by CESA and other global and continental agendas, initiatives and agreements. He reiterated the AAU’s commitment to working closely and collaboratively with all stakeholders in education to achieve the targets of CESA in the most efficient way and within the assigned time-frames to improve the current state of the quality of Higher Education in Africa.
The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt, Prof. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar expressed their excitement in hosting the rest of the African higher education community in their country and called for more collaboration between African Universities in moving the continent forward.
AAU and the conference participants appreciated Egypt for its commitment and effort made in favour of Higher Education in Egypt and on the continent in general. Egypt was also praised for the unrivalled hospitality extended to all participants since the beginning of the conference.
Sub-Theme 1: Focus on the science and mathematics curricula in youth training and disseminate scientific knowledge and culture in society
Sub-Theme 2: Expand TVET opportunities at tertiary levels and strengthen linkages between the world of work and education and training systems
Sub-Theme 3: Revitalize and expand tertiary education, research and innovation to address continental challenges and promote competitiveness.
Sub-Theme 4: Promote peace education and conflict prevention and resolution at all levels of education and for all age groups.
Sub-Theme 5: Improve management of education systems as well as build and enhance capacity for data collection, management, harness the capacity of ICT to improve access, quality and management of education and training systems.
Sub-Theme 6: Promoting mobility through harmonization of quality assurance and accreditation systems.
Sub-Theme 7: Identifying new directions in improving management of education through enhanced capacity for data collection and management, research and scholarship and efficient governance of HEIs in Africa.