Learn more about the conference program and sessions
The SDGC/A conference Mobilizing African Intellectuals Towards Quality Tertiary Education will be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali from 5th to 6th July 2017. The conference will bring together over 300 intellectuals and scholars from all over the continent and the diaspora, in an effort to convene major stakeholders for essential discussions on the major themes relevant to SDG implementation in tertiary education and research throughout Africa. The participants will include Heads of State, government ministries in charge of education, university leadership including Vice Chancellors and Rectors of public and private universities and Heads of Academic Affairs, and other representatives of African academic networks, councils and research centers.
As a platform for intellectuals’ engagement this workshop will be specifically designed for the field of actors who are exposed to Africa’s higher education bottlenecks in their daily professional life. The SDGC/A foresees a fruitful interaction between academics in order to accelerate successful practices among tertiary education establishments.
OBJECTIVE OF THE CONFERENCE
The overall objective of the conference is to create a coalition of African intellectuals who will convene in order to brainstorm on the key priority action areas for consideration at the workshop:
- The Enabling Environment in Education - Excellence in Teaching and Learning
- Research - Scope and Scholarly Reputation
- Building Reputable University Systems in Africa
- Knowledge for Development – Transforming Societies
In addition, participants will share experiences, agree on common actions to ignite the big push needed at continental level to transform the academic ecosystem.
The conference will to kick-start discussions on practical actions, explore solutions and build consensual approaches that can be undertaken right away against the back-drop of under-performing higher education systems throughout the continent. The Mobilizing African Intellectuals Towards Quality Tertiary Education conference will reinstate the pivotal role of education practitioners as agents of change to galvanize innovative societies, complementing the efforts made by policy makers in that regard. The Center trusts the expertise of African intellectuals in articulating pertinent action-oriented recommendations to the discrepancy between higher education and sustainable development, and in addressing daunting local and global realities. Therefore, the SDGC/A is determined to foster the engagement of the African academic stakeholders as leading champions to implement in the SDGs in Africa and partake in the global transformation process.
In order to appear in the global picture, Africa must address the above mentioned issues, while also tackling more traditional ones such as girls’ inclusion, indigenous knowledge contribution, tuition fees, digitalization leapfrogging, vocational training, innovation in universities, the relationship with the diaspora, and regional Centers of Excellence to name a few. The comprehensive reform of tertiary education must be put in place urgently with the “teachers” at the core. The reform should be bold enough to disrupt the mindset and confront the paradox of the poor global results despite much spending engaged in percentage. The matter of quality educations should be seriously attended.
The SDGC/A will be the hosting platform and facilitator of this exercise in line with the 2030 SDG Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063. The SDG #4 stipulates that by 2030 all women and men have access to quality tertiary education and there should be a significant increase in the number of young people and adults with skills necessary for employment, access to decent jobs and entrepreneurship. It also recommends that by 2020, the number of scholarships for studies should be increased in developing countries so as to finance the continuation of higher studies. Echoing that, Aspiration #6 of AU Agenda 2063 advises that Africa’s youth should be guaranteed full access to education, training, skills and technology, as well as financial means and all necessary resources to allow them to realize their full potential; for them to be the path breakers of the African knowledge society and to contribute significantly to innovation and entrepreneurship. It also specifies “The creativity, energy and innovation of Africa’s youth shall be the driving force behind the continent’s political, social, cultural and economic transformation”.