On 29th July 2022, ADEA virtually held the 1st stakeholder consultative meeting on the Triennale sub-theme, “Reimagining Higher Education and Scientific Research.”
Graced by participants from Mauritius, African Development Bank, African Union, AUDA-NEPAD, Arizona State University, European Commission, Nuffic, Higher Education for Good, University of Toronto, USAID, and World Bank, the meeting highlighted the importance of reflecting on the factors, conditions, and drivers promoting African-led research and the role of the different actors. This will shape how research can positively impact Africa’s agriculture, food, mining, fishing, oil and gas industries, among others, in terms of the skills required to produce qualified manpower and the role of technology, universities, and research institutions in promoting innovative land and water use as well as value addition.
Anchored within the continental initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the ongoing regional integration, and informed by emerging issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the green and blue economy, ADEA highlighted the following as possible topics for discussion under the sub-theme:
- Improving enrolments and uptake of scientific research in higher education institutions using technology (digitalization).
- Having appropriate policies and effective governance for a needs-driven and African-led national research: the role of HEIs.
- Expanding higher-level teaching and learning mechanisms through innovative and alternative financing options.
- Strengthening research-industry linkages through partnerships: the role of research institutions such as the African Centres of Excellence.
- Pushing for quality assurance and the harmonization of qualifications.
Reflecting on the topics, participants noted the need to build partnerships and collaboration, particularly between the North and the South, while deeply leveraging existing networks and weaving the core values and principles into the conversations. They also committed to facilitate the sharing of country experiences around the highlighted topics based on the projects they support. The stakeholders reiterated the need to ultimately exhaust some the agreed topics so that the final Ministerial commitments can speak to the issues and the recommendations that will emanate from the Triennale discussions.
ADEA promised to continue holding a series of stakeholder consultations to prepare better for the flagship event in October in Mauritius.