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Association of African Universities deliberates on harmonisation

BY: Elizabeth Konadu-Boakye
Rev. John Ntim Fordjour (arrowed) with members of the Association of African Universities
Rev. John Ntim Fordjour (arrowed) with members of the Association of African Universities

Members of the Association of African Universities (AAU) have begun a meeting in Accra to deliberate on the harmonisation, accreditation and quality assurance in Africa's higher education (HAQAA).

The three-day conference brought together officials and representatives from the various advisory boards of universities across the continent.

The Secretary General of AAU, Olusola Oyewole, said the association, which consisted of about 420 universities' mission, was to enhance the quality and relevance of higher education in Africa which would spread its contribution to Africa’s developments.

He added that it was also their objective to promote interchange, contact and cooperation among university institutions on the continent and to collect, classify and disseminate information on Higher Education and Research.

"It is also our objective to promote cooperation among African institutions in curriculum development and in the determination of equivalence of degrees and also to encourage increased contact between its members and the international academic world," he said.

Critical role

A Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, said universities in Africa must position themselves to play a critical role in the transformation and betterment of the people in Africa.

He explained that an Education Commission in their 2020 report stated that by the year 2030, nearly 825 million young people across the world would reach the adult age without the skills needed to raise wealth, adding that the continent had reached an average of about 15 per cent gross tertiary enrolment ratios.

Rev. Ntim Fordjour stressed the need for the continent to reach a minimum of 40 per cent to be able to make very assertive efforts to transform education.

"The role of tertiary education is most critical in this effort. We, as Africans, have our own various unique challenges and opportunities.

He further stated that the harmonisation and strengthening of the quality of higher education in Africa was in line with the African Union Agenda 2063 on the theme: “The Africa we want was an essential instrument for facilitating the African Union which ratified Continental Free Trade Area”.

“Integrated Africa is a primary transformational outcome of Agenda 2063, encompassing free movement of persons, free trade and African common education space for all African learners.

These efforts will culminate in Africa’s long-time desire for harmonised higher education systems to facilitate the mobility of trained people and recognition of their qualifications,” he added.

The Director of Global Projects and Coordinator HAQAA, Elizabeth Colucci, said it was important that Africans worked for their own interests and development and for the global interest in development.