AU Leaders tasked on Addis Ababa convention

By Temitope Mustapha, Cairo

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The Association of African Universities AAU, has tasked governments of all member countries to sign the Addis Ababa convention in the spirit of the ratification of the Africa Trade Areas.

The Addis Ababa convention is a revised convention on the recognition of studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and other academic qualifications in Higher Education in African States.

The Association also urged Heads of Government in Africa to leverage on international mobility mechanisms like the European Union initiatives and joint inter-institutional joint degree programmes, in a way that strategically benefits Africa.

AAU in a communiqué issued at the end of the 20th International Conference on ‘The Role of Higher Education institutions in promoting Continental Education Strategy for Africa CESA’ reached these resolutions.

Participants noted with concern that three years into the CESA period, the African Union is yet to back the strategy with appropriate level of funding.

The conference requested that member countries demonstrate commitment to revitilisation, research, innovation and conflict management by allocating meaningful proportions of their annual budgets to the identified areas.

The stakeholders insist that governments promote intra-Africa Research and Development cooperation.

The conference called on member countries to embed, “Educating for a peaceful Society”, in its curriculum at all educational levels.

The conference urged Heads of government to leverage on the AAU African Research and Education Network AFREN project to facilitate improved teaching, learning and research collaborations.

Scaling up ICT and research programmes

On CESA Higher Education Contribution in the areas of Data management and ICT, the academics urged member countries to integrate and scale up management information and ICT systems to enhance access and quality as well as reduce the cost of data management.

It further appealed to AU Leaders to deepen mutual trust at governmental level thereby understanding and creating opportunities within Africa and other countries.

The conference urged Higher Education institutions to take steps in raising the number of teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics STEM as well as reform curricular continually to remove inconsistencies.

Participants suggested reduction in the loss of indigenous research to the outside world by encouraging intra-Africa research and publication reviews.

The academics called for reform of the TVET system to enhance an integrated competency based model that promotes good governance and management.

The scholars recommended AU Leaders to lead evidence based advocacy for African Academic Network on Regional Integration, by the means of establishing African Centres of Excellence on Regional Integration.

The Continental Education Strategy for Africa CESA, is in line with the African Union 20163 Agenda and the Common African Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

The 20th Conference of Rectors, Vice chancellors and Presidents of Universities was held in Cairo under the patronage of Abdel-fattah  El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Emmanuel Ukoh