The Association of African Universities (AAU) has launched the 2016 edition of its annual African Universities Day Celebration with an objective to promote critical dialogue among stakeholders on how to improve higher education in Africa.
The event, which is scheduled for Monday, November 7 to Saturday, November 12, focuses on the need to stimulate job creation for the youth. It is under the theme “Entrepreneurial Learning and Communities of Practice”. Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile, Secretary General of AAU, at a press briefing in Accra, said the association recognized that for higher education institutions to adopt innovative strategies to improve their educational outcomes, there would be a need to work closely with stakeholders.
He explained that working more closely with various stakeholders, especially from industry, would ensure the relevance of their curricula. He said, however, that this year’s celebration sought to explore solutions relating to the churning out of graduates who could make a change in their communities through problem solving and entrepreneurship.
Prof Ehile said the Day created awareness on the importance of higher education for Africa’s development as well as celebrated the success stories of higher education across the continent.
“Universities in Ghana are specially invited to join the Secretariat of the Association in marking the day through an innovation week being hosted by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), University of Professional Studies (UPSA), and the Wisconsin International University in Accra, Ghana,” he added.
Ms Nodumo Dhlamini, Director in charge of ICT Services and Knowledge Management at AAU, said the university had partnered with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) to host the MEST/ AAU talks on November 7 at the MEST Incubation Centre at East Legon.
"The talks will discuss how we can best prepare African youth for entrepreneurship where participants will be industry players, staff and students from UPSA, Wisconsin International University, GIMPA as well as AAU Staff," she stated.
She said on Wednesday, November 9, AAU would also partner with GIMPA to host an Inter- University Challenge whereby three student teams representing the three universities would be given an entrepreneurial challenge to solve and would be scored on their problem solving/ critical thinking/innovativeness, among others, by selected judges.
Ms Dhlamini explained that the challenge was related to African higher education.
She again told the media that UPSA would host the main African Universities Day event on Friday, November 11, featuring a high level panel discussion, which would dwell on “Entrepreneurial Learning and Communities of Practice”.
"The event will also include the award ceremony for the winners of the inter-university challenge," she said, adding that on November 12, the AAU would host a moderated one-and-a-half hour twitter discussion on the theme.
The AAU is the apex organisation and forum for consultation, exchange of information and co-operation among institutions of higher education in Africa.