The Association of African Universities (AAU) says sound, strategic investments in improving the quality of higher education in Africa will pay off in the form of having strong world class academic institutions and socioeconomic development.
Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile, AAU Secretary General, said the Association would diligently play its part in ensuring that the aims and aspirations of the various quality assurance initiatives and projects were achieved.
These, he said, included the African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN), the HAQAA initiative, African Union Commission’s African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM), the Pan African Quality Assurance Framework (PAQAF) and the Tuning Africa Project.
Speaking at the ninth International Conference and Workshops in Higher Education in Africa (ICQAHEA) on Tuesday in Accra, Prof Ehile said the topic of Quality Assurance continues to be one critical area which lay at the heart of the organizational mandate of the AAU and thus receives priority attention in the Strategic Plan and Core Programme of the Association.
He announced that the AAU had also been recently appointed by the African Union as the Coordinator for the implementation of the Higher Education Cluster of the continental Education Strategy (CESA 16 -25).
“This appointment is welcoming news and we are ready to work with all parties involved in pushing the core agenda of CESA forward. The CESA strategy is in line with the African Union 2063 Agenda and the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” Prof Ehile stated.
The five-day conference on the theme, “Quality Higher Education, Harmonisation and Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa”, is being attended by over 200 academics, vice chancellors and rectors of universities across Africa.
The objective of the ninth ICQAHEA and Workshops is to review recent developments/achievements in enhancing quality and promoting regional harmonization in Africa and beyond.
It would also promote awareness among the African higher education community of recent developments in enhancing quality assurance and accelerating regional harmonization under the Africa – EU partnership, including the continental strategy for Education for Africa 2015-2025 (CESA).
It would also address the role of quality assurance and regional harmonization in higher education in attaining the sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 in order to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
The conference is being organised by the AAU in collaboration with the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi)-Africa, African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN) and the African Union (AU) and Peregrine Academic Services.