• Promoting appropriate policies and effective governance and accountability for a needs-driven and African-led national research and innovation.
  • Building a skilled labour force to drive innovation and competitiveness in Africa – especially in STEM-related competencies, and the role of Higher Education in building skilled entrepreneurs.

Date: Thursday, 20th October 2022

Time: 14:45 PM – 16:15 PM Mauritius time (GMT+4)

Venue: Le Méridien Île Maurice

Storyline: Africa’s development hinges on a higher education system and research that plays a key role in knowledge-based economic growth strategies, contributes to the constitution of human capital, supports innovation, and validates scientific knowledge. But high-level research remains poor, as a priority, in the policies of many African countries, with infrastructure, equipment, personnel, and funding having greater focus. Africa’s contribution in the diagnosis and research of vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic was comparatively minimal, accounting to only 1% of the results of research in the world, according to the World Bank (2020). In addition, there is a mismatch between existing research and potential areas of needs where the research results can be applied. For example, there is little research conducted in the continent in fields of STEM, accounting for only 29% of scientific research in sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank, 2014). Africa must improve the governance of national research, promote African-led research, and adapt the research results to meet its needs and priorities. This sub-theme will look at the factors, conditions, and drivers promoting African-led research and interrogate the role of the different actors, how research can positively impact Africa’s agriculture and food industry, the skills required to produce qualified manpower for the industry, the role of universities and research institutions in promoting land use and value addition, and how technology can support productivity and competitiveness. Strategies include advocacy and building North-South partnerships and collaboration to create appropriate higher-level skills and competencies for the future while deeply leveraging existing networks and weaving core values and principles into the conversations. Second is promoting transformative technology-enhanced partnerships through inter-institutional collaborations and consortia that offer innovative student enrolment and co-learning opportunities, among others.


  1. Share knowledge and evidence around working policies and governance that promote African-led research aligned to the national needs and priorities.
  2. Identify examples and lessons of successful coordination and collaboration that have resulted in greater access and quality teaching in higher education and scientific research.
  3. Explore factors that enable research to positively impact Africa’s agriculture and food industry, the skills required to produce qualified manpower for the industry, and effective ways of leveraging technology to support productivity and competitiveness.
  4. Interrogate the role of different actors, including universities and research institutions, in promoting land use and value addition as part of limiting reliance on imports.

Expected outcomes

  1. Greater awareness and appreciation of policies and governance that promote African-led research aligned to the national needs and priorities.
  2. Shared understanding of successful coordination and collaboration mechanisms for improved learning and research in higher education.
  3. Clarity on the key factors, research skills, technology manipulation and use in promoting Africa’s agriculture and food industry.
  4. Partnership strategies in research that can effectively promote land use and value addition to contribute to the national economic development.

Moderator: Dr. Sam Awuku, Project Lead, Innovative Pedagogies, Education Commission


  • Prof. Rodolphine Sylvie WAMBA, Sous-Directeur de l'Assurance Qualité, Direction des Accréditations Universitaires et de la Qualité, Ministre de l'Enseignement Supérieur, ICQN HESR Focal Point, Cameroun
  • Mr John Lukonde CHONGO, Assistant Director Science and Technology (Science Section), Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Higher Education, ICQN HESR Focal Point, Zambia

Expert perspective: Deirdre Lennan, European Commission, Directorate General for International Partnerships: Strengthening the Africa-EU partnership in the area of higher education through the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment package (TBC)

Policymaker response: Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero. Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Uganda; Chairperson, AU STC-ESTI Bureau; ADEA Steering Committee (TBC)


  • Mr. Joshua Mwangi, Ag. Director, Policy & Partnerships, Ministry of Education, Kenya
  • Roka Botey, Deputy Minister for Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Sports, Equatorial Guinea (TBC)
  • Prof. Kiran Bhujun, Director, Tertiary Education, Mauritius
  • Dr. Martha Phiri, Director of the Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department, African Development Bank
  • Stephanie Mikulasek, Education and Youth Division Chief in USAID’s Africa Bureau