• Expanding higher-level teaching, learning, and research and strengthening research-industry linkages through innovative and alternative financing options. 
  • Improving the quality assurance and harmonization of qualifications to enhance free labour and skills movement, contributes to the transparency of qualifications and trust between African qualifications frameworks.

Date: Thursday, 20th October 2022

Time: 16:30 PM – 18:00 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:  Prof. (Dr) Mrs R. Mohee, Commissioner, Higher Education Commission, Mauritius


  • Kimberley Kerr, Chairperson, ADEA Executive Committee
  • Prof Hellen Inyega, ADEA Resource Person, University of Nairobi

Expert perspective: Prof. Kiran Bhujun, Director for Tertiary Education & Scientific Research, Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science & Technology, Mauritius

Policymaker response: Minister/ country representative (TBC) 


  • Hon. Prof Adama Diawara, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Cote d'Ivoire (virtual)
  • Mr. Darius Mogaka Ogutu, Director, University Education, Ministry of Education, Kenya
  • Mr Abdou Lahate CISSE, Coordonnateur administratif et technique, ANAQ-Sup, Sénégal
  • Associate Professor Chomora Mikeka, Director of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Malawi
  • Improving university careers services and enhancing employability of students and strengthening connections with the private sector: The EAC experience. ESSA Africa & Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA)