Education, Science & Technology
The achievement of Aspiration 1 of Agenda 2063 for “A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development” requires that Africa makes significant investments in education with the aim of developing human and social capital through an education and skills revolution emphasizing innovation, science and technology.
The AU Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) aims to reorient Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development at the national, sub-regional and continental levels. The key objectives of CESA are to:-
- Revitalize the teaching profession to ensure quality and relevance at all levels
- Expand access to quality education by building, rehabilitating, and preserving education infrastructure and developing policies that ensure a permanent, healthy and conducive learning environment in all sub-sectors.
- Harness the capacity of ICT to improve access, quality and management of education and training systems
- Ensure acquisition of requisite knowledge and skills as well as improved completion rates at all levels and groups through harmonization processes across all levels for national and regional integration
- Accelerate processes leading to gender parity and equity
- Launch comprehensive and effective literacy campaigns across the continent to eradicate illiteracy
- Strengthen the science and math curricula and disseminate scientific knowledge and the culture of science in the African society
- Expand TVET opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels and strengthen linkages between the world of work and education and training systems
- Revitalize and expand tertiary education, research and innovation to address continental challenges and promote global competitiveness
- Promote peace education and conflict prevention and resolution at all levels of education and for all age groups
- Build and enhance capacity for data collection, management, analysis, communication, and improve the management of education system as well as the statistic tool, through capacity building for data collection, management, analysis, communication, and usage
- Set up a coalition of all education stakeholders to facilitate and support initiatives arising from the implementation of CESA
The AU Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) places science, technology and innovation at the epicentre of Africa’s socio-economic development and growth and emphasises the impact the sciences can have across critical sectors such as agriculture, energy, environment, health, infrastructure development, mining, security and water among others. The strategy envisions an Africa whose transformation is led by innovation and which will create a Knowledge-based Economy. STISA is anchored on six (6) priority areas namely
- Eradication of Hunger and Achieving Food Security
- Prevention and Control of Diseases
- Communication (Physical and Intellectual Mobility)
- Protection of our Space
- Living together in peace & harmony to build the society
- Wealth Creation.
STISA strategy further defines four mutually reinforcing pillars which are prerequisite conditions for its success namely: building and/or upgrading research infrastructures; enhancing professional and technical competencies; promoting entrepreneurship and innovation; and providing an enabling environment for Science Technology and Innovation (STI) development in the African continent.
The TVET Continental Strategy provides a comprehensive framework for the design and development of national policies and strategies to address the challenges of education and technical and vocational training to support economic development, creation of national wealth and contribute to poverty reduction through youth entrepreneurship, innovation and employment.
The AU is also working with members states to build Africa’s higher education and research which is challenged by low level of postgraduate training opportunities and research outputs. The Agenda 2063 project for the African Virtual and E-University aims to use ICT based programmes to increase access to tertiary and continuing education in Africa by reaching large numbers of students and professionals in multiple sites simultaneously. It aims to develop relevant and high quality Open, Distance and eLearning (ODeL) resources to offer students guaranteed access to the University from anywhere in the world and anytime.
The Pan-African University (PAU) is the first university established by the African Union and was established to act as a standard for all other universities within Africa. PAU’s mission is to strengthen African higher education and research, address quality of education, intra-African collaboration, innovation and establish links with industry and social sector. PAU focuses on five thematic areas:- Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation; Life and Earth Sciences (including Health and Agriculture), Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences; Water Energy and Sciences (including Climate Change); and Space Sciences. The thematic areas are assigned to institutes hosted by existing universities of excellence across Africa’s five geographic regions as follows:
- East Africa: PAU Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya.
- North Africa: PAU Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change) (PAUWES) at the AbouBekrBelkaid University of Tlemcen, Algeria.
- West Africa: PAU Institute for Life and Earth Sciences (including Health and Agriculture) (PAULESI) at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
- Central Africa: PAU Institute for Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (PAUGHSS) at the University of Yaoundé II and the University of Buea, Cameroon. The Governance and Regional Integration fields of study are taught in the campus of the University of Yaounde II-Soa, Translation and Interpretation programs are taught in the University of Buea.
The Academic Mobility Scheme in Africa is an initiative undertaken by the AUC in collaboration with European Commission Executive Agency it facilitates the mobility of students and academic staff to strengthen the recognition of qualifications and cooperation between higher education institutions from different countries and regions across the continent. It grants scholarships for partial (short-term) and full Masters degrees, as well as PhD programs
Outer space is of critical importance to the development of Africa in all fields: agriculture, disaster management, remote sensing, climate forecast, banking and finance, as well as defence and security. Africa’s access to space technology products is no longer a matter of luxury and there is a need to speed up access to these technologies and products. New developments in satellite technologies make these accessible to African countries and appropriate policies and strategies are required to develop a regional market for space products in Africa. The Agenda 2063 Africa Outer Space Strategy is the AU’s priority project that aims to strengthen Africa’s use of outer space to bolster its development.
The Human Resources, Science & Technology Department promotes the work of the AU in the area of education and STI development. The department also coordinates AU’s education and scientific scholarships and awards including Nyerere Scholarship and Academic Mobility Programme, Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards, as well as overseeing the work of specialist AU institutions including the AU- International Centre for Girls and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA), The Pan-African University (PAU) and the Pan-African Institute for Education for Development (IPED).