Live Event: The African Higher Education Summit
March 10-12, 2015Dakar, Senegal

Join global policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics and international development partners as they develop a common vision geared towards transforming Africa’s higher education system.

Related: Happening Now! WATCH LIVE.

The African Higher Education Summit is a three-day continental summit focused on revitalizing higher education for Africa’s future. The event will provide a forum for discussions on themes such as policy harmonization across African universities, sustainable investment models, diversity, graduate employability, gender, governance, and the role of research. It will also delve into the ways in which Africa’s higher education institutions can be more active players in the fields of science, technology, and innovation (STI).

Engaging a wide-range of active stakeholders from across the continent, the summit presents a unique platform for participants to collectively determine a common vision geared towards transforming Africa’s higher education system in the next 50 years. Attendees include heads of state, ministers of education, entrepreneurs, academics and international development partners.

To watch the event live or participate online, please visit our Livestream channel

DAY 1: Tuesday, March 10, 2015

09h00 – 16h00 REGISTRATION
                       Venue: King Fahd Palace Hotel: Rooms B02, B9, B10 and B11

16h00-16h30 All participants seated

17h00 – 18h00 Welcome and Opening Ceremony        
                        Venue: Amphitheatre

Moderator: Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi, Director, United Nations African Institute for Development and Economic Planning, Dakar
Welcome Remarks: Ms. Aicha Bah Diallo, Chair of TrustAfrica
Opening Keynote Address: Higher Education and Africa Agenda 2063, by H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of The African Union Commission
Welcome and Opening Address: H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chair of the NEPAD Heads of State Orientation Committee

18h30 Official Reception
                        Venue: Around Swimming Pool

DAY 2: March 11, 2015

09h00 – 10h30 Special Keynote address
                        Venue: Flamboyant

Moderator: Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi, Director, United Nations African Institute for Development and Economic Planning, Dakar
Brief remarks: Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York, USA
Speaker: H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General, United Nations, and Chair, Africa’s Progress Panel
Theme: Higher Education and Africa’s Social, Economic and Political Progress

10h30-10h45 Tea break

10h45-12h00    Panel 1: Setting the Scene: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (Plenary: Q&A)    
                        Venue: Flamboyant

Guiding questions: What are the lessons to be learnt from the record of higher education in Africa? What is the current state of higher education in Africa? What are its future prospects and challenges? How do we build a higher education sector that is responsive to the needs of Africa and its people in the 21st century?

Moderator: Prof. Paul Zeleza, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Quinnipiac University, USA

Prof. Goolam Mohamedbhai, Former Secretary General, Association of African Universities
Prof. Joy Kwesiga, Vice-Chancellor, Kabale University, Uganda
Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia, Senegal
Dr. Ebrima Sall, Executive Secretary, CODESRIA
Dr. Nico Cloete, Director, Center for Higher Education, Cape Town, South Africa

12h00 – 12h15            Break

12h15 – 13h30 High Level Panel 2: Mobilizing Continental Leadership for Higher Education
                        Venue: Flamboyant

Guiding questions:
What is the role of the African Union in addressing the challenges of higher education in Africa? What role do Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have in the harmonization and standardization of higher education? What national and/or continental factors should African leaders consider in addressing higher education challenges?

Moderator: Dr. Saleem Badat, Former Vice Chancellor, Rhodes University, South Africa, and Programme Director, International Higher Education and Strategic Projects, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, USA

Dr. Kaba Urgessa
, State Minister of Education, Ethiopia
Mr. Mountaga Tall, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mali
Prof. Mackaye Hassane Taisso, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Chad
Ms. Achol Jok Mac, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, South Sudan
Dr. Khadar Bashir Ali, Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education, Somalia
Dr. Aboubacar Senghore, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Gambia

13h30 – 14h15            Lunch

14h15 – 16h00 High Level Panel 3: Investment in African Higher Education (Moderated Discussion)
                        Venue: Flamboyant

Guiding questions: What levels of investment are required for the sector to serve the needs of the continent in the 21st century? What are the sources and new models of sustainable funding/investment? What is the role for the private for-profit and not-for-profit sectors?

Moderator: Dr. Patrick Awuah, Founder, Ashesi University, Ghana

Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank
Hon. Amadou Ba
, Minister of Economy and Finance, Senegal
Prof. James McWha, Vice Chancellor, University of Rwanda
Ms. Claudia Costin, Senior Director, Education Global Practice, The World Bank
Prof. Charles K. Ayo, Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria

16h00 – 16h30 Tea Break

Session 1:
Equity and Access
Venue: B01
Guiding questions: What is meant by inclusiveness in African higher education today? What are successful models of achieving excellence and equity? What are the roles of the education pipeline, and partnership with government in achieving equity and access?

Moderator: Prof. Teboho Moja, New York University, USA

Ms. Therese Jong Jatta
, Director (UNESCO), Senegal
Prof. Abdullahi Sule Kano, Former President, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Nigeria
Dr. Alice Karekezi, National University of Rwanda, Butare, Rwanda
Mr. Fred Awaah, Secretary General/Head of Mission, All-Africa Students Union
Prof. Aminata Sall Diallo, Adviser to the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Senegal

Session 2: Higher Education, Nation Building and Citizenship
Venue: C01
Guiding Questions:
What is the trajectory and role for the social sciences and humanities in the future of African higher education? How is African higher education dealing with the global push for increased investment in science and technology while not addressing similar efforts for the humanities and the social sciences? What are the future prospects for African social sciences and humanities graduates?

Moderator: Prof. Tade Aina, Executive Director, Partnership for African Social Governance Research, Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Malika Ben Radi,
Dean of Law, University of Mohammad V, Morocco
Dr. Godwin Murunga, Kenyatta University, Kenya
Ms. Hilary Pennington, Vice President, Ford Foundation, New York, USA
Prof. Rogerio Jose Uthui, Univesidade Pedagógica, Maputo, Mozambique

Session 3: Harmonization of African Universities
Venue: B05, B06
Guiding Questions: Why do we need harmonization of higher education in Africa? Is harmonization a priority for Africa today? What is the historical trajectory for harmonization of higher education qualifications in Africa, including the Arusha Convention? What are the success stories of harmonization in the continent? What are the gaps that need to be addressed?

Moderator: Prof. Luc Rukingama, Former Minister of Education, Burundi, and Director Regional office for Southern Africa, UNESCO

Dr. Beatrice Khamati Njenga, Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union Commission
Prof. Etienne Ehouan Ehile, Secretary-General, Association of African Universities
Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, Executive Secretary, Inter University Council for East Africa
Prof. Bertrand Mbatchi, Secretary-General, CAMES (Conseil africain et malgache pour l'enseignement supérieur)

Session 4: Differentiation and Diversification
Venue: B01
Guiding Questions:
 African higher education institutions and programmes are not adequately guided by policies on differentiation and diversity among tertiary institutions nor are these policies often considered as specific national and continental needs. How can differentiation and diversification address the challenges faced by higher education in Africa? What are the success stories of differentiation and diversification in AHE systems? What are the gaps? How do we support effective differentiation among HE institutions and systems?

Moderator: Hon. Oppah C. Z Muchinguri, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Zimbabwe

Prof. Clifford Tagoe, Chairperson, National Council of Tertiary Education, Ghana
Prof. Michael Faborode, Former Vice Chancellor Obafemi Awolowo University, and Secretary General, Committee of Vice Chancellors, Nigeria
Prof. Ihron Rensburg, Vice Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg
Prof. John Igue, Scientific Director of the Laboratory of Regional Analysis and Social Expertise (LARES), Benin

19hr30 – 22hr30 Official Summit Dinner
                        Venue: Tent

20hr30 – 21hr15         Special Keynote Address

Host: H.E. Mohammed Dionne, Prime Minister, The Republic of Senegal

Introduction of Guest Speaker and Theme: Prof. Mary Teuw Niane, Minister of Higher Education and Research, The Republic of Senegal

Speaker: Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, Former Minister of Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Former Vice-President for Africa, World Bank

Theme: Building Universities for Africa’s Future


Day 3: March 12, 2015

09h00 – 10h30 High Level Panel 4: Business, Higher Education and Graduate Employability
                        Venue: Flamboyant 

Guiding Questions: What are the factors contributing to graduate unemployability? What measures can be taken to ensure that African higher education is linked and responsive to the needs of labour markets? What measures can be taken to build and strengthen the relationship between the African higher education sector, the private sector and employers? What role should African business play in transforming higher education to meet the needs of the continent in the 21st century?

Moderator:  Arit Okpo, Anchor, Ebonylife TV

Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principle, University of Pretoria, South Africa
HE. Spio-Garbrah, (Ministry of Trade and Industries)
Prof. Philip Clay, Board member, MasterCard Foundation, Canada
Mr. Joseph Butore, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Burundi

10h30 – 10h50            Break

10h50 – 13h00            PARALLEL SESSIONS

Session 5: Quality, Excellence and Relevance
Venue: C01
Guiding questions:
 How do we ensure that African higher education maintains a consistent level of peer reviewed quality assurance? How do we ensure that African HE institutions maintain excellence in accordance with the appropriate highest international standards? How do we support African higher education institutions to address questions of local and national importance through approaches that meet global and international standards?

Moderator: Ms. Deana Arsenian, Vice-President, International Programmes, Carnegie Corporation of New York


Dr. Max Price
, Vice Chancellor, University of Cape Town
Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Legon
Maitre Mountaga Tall, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mali
Dr. Peter Materu, Practice Manager, West and Central Africa, The World Bank
Papa Gueye (ANAQ), Senegal

Session 6: Higher Education and Gender
Venue: B01
Guiding Questions:
What are the priorities for addressing the gender gap in African higher education? What mechanisms and incentives have proven successful? How effective are gender policies in creating conducive cultural environments and affecting these gaps?

Moderator: Dr. Florence Etta-Akin Aina, Executive Director, TY Danjuma Foundation, Nigeria

Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education, Ghana
Prof. Francesca Okeke, Recipient, L’Oreal–UNESCO Award for Women in Science, and Professor, University of Nigeria, Nsukku
Ms. Oley Dibba Wadda, Executive Director, Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)
Prof. Ramatoulaye Diagne Mbengue, Technical Adviser to the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Senegal

Session 7: Governance and Regulatory Regime of African Higher Education
Venue: B05, B06
Guiding Questions
: What are the success stories in the terrain of governance? How do we support the effective and efficient governance and regulatory oversight of AHE institutions? How do we balance regulation with academic freedom? What measures should be taken to address such challenges?

Facilitator: Prof. Jean Pierre Ezin, Commissioner, Science and Culture, Economic Community of West African States

Professor Albert Ondo Ossa,
Former Minister of Education, Gabon
Prof. Julius Okojie,
Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Nigeria
Prof. Ibrahim Oanda Ogachi, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Session 8: The Role of Research and Postgraduate Studies in African Higher Education
Venue: C05, C06
Guiding Questions
: What are the priorities and demand for increasing research and postgraduate (PG) studies on the continent in an era of expanding access? How can universities and government best partner to support PG studies? What approaches to PG training are most effective to meet growing continental demand? What are the mechanisms for maintaining quality research and postgraduate studies in the context of expanding access and limited resources?

Moderator: Dr. Gansen Pillay, Deputy CEO, National Research Foundation, South Africa

Prof. Akinyinka Omigbodun,
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Prof. Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Prof. Ibrahima Thioub, Rector, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal
Prof. Adipala Ekwamu, Executive Secretary, RUFORUM
Dr. Fatma H. Sayed, consultant for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Egypt

13h00 – 14h00            Lunch                                                                                                        

14h00 – 15h30            Panel 2: Science, Technology and Innovation (Plenary)

Guiding questions: What are the key drivers for African higher education institutions to be active players in a new world of science, technology and innovation (STI)? What are successful models of support and how do we support AHE institutions to play an increasing role in teaching, research, and science in the field of STI? How do we support AHE institutions to better utilize STI in addressing local and national questions and problems?

Moderator: Prof. Nkem Khumbah, University of Michigan, USA

Dr. Martial de Paul Ikounga
, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union Commission
Prof. Faye Briggs, Intel Fellow and director of Scalable Server Architecture, the Intel Architecture Group at Intel Corporation, USA
Prof Aderemi Kuku, President, African Academy of Sciences
Prof Barry Green, African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)
Prof. Jelel Ezzine, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia
Prof. Daan du Toit, Deputy Director General, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa 

15h30 – 17h00            CLOSING SESSION
Venue: Ampitheater

Reading of Summit Declaration
Dr. Tendai Murisa,Executive Director, TrustAfrica
Mr. Mountaga Tall, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mali

Looking Ahead by Summit Partners

Representatives of African Union Commission, Government of Senegal, TrustAfrica, Carnegie Corporation of New York, African Development Bank, Association for the development of Education in Africa, Association of African Universities, United Nations African Institute of Development of Economic Planning, Council for the Development of Social Sciences in Africa, National Research Foundation of South Africa, MasterCard Foundation, and The World Bank.

Closing Remarks

Dr. Omano Edigheji, Director of the Summit

19h30                          FAREWELL GALA AND MUSICAL

Musical Performance: Coumba Gawlo Seck

  • DATE: March 10-12, 2015
  • LOCATION: King Fahd Palace Hotel, Dakar, Senegal
  • MEDIA INQUIRIES: Kavita Watsa,
  • CONTACT: Mademba Ndiaye