AU Cites Outcome of Dakar Summit in Call for More Investment in Higher Education

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African leaders from across the continent this week affirmed their support for the need to better fund and support higher education at the 25th African Union Summit held in South Africa.

Their remarks were largely based on the outcomes of the Summit on Higher Education in Africa, organized by the Pan-African educational organization TrustAfrica and supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York, among others, where educational leaders laid out a road map for the future of higher education on the continent in Dakar last March.

“The Assembly requested member states to, among others, strengthen their support and investment in higher education in order to develop a critical mass of high level intellectual capital, and promote youth employability through entrepreneurship skills and innovation,” said a press release issued by the AU. The Assembly also “committed to the establishment of a team of ten Heads of State and Government (two from each geographic region) as African champions of education, science and technology” and endorsed Senegal’s President Macky Sall, whose government hosted the higher education summit, as the first coordinator of “the group champions.”

Both outcomes at the AU summit are directly related to the 16 points offered up as part of the higher education road map at the TrustAfrica summit. As Africa’s economies continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, the demand for an educated workforce is rising at an increasing pace.  African universities, however, are struggling to produce enough employable graduates to meet demand.