OBREAL Global and AAU host successful series of webinars on the impact of the Africa-EU Summit on higher education and research

OBREAL Global, in partnership with the Association of African Universities (AAU) and key regional higher education associations in Africa and Europe, has concluded a highly successful series of webinars. The series was organised as a direct follow-up to the Africa-EU Summit held on 17-18 February, with the aim of facilitating a better understanding of the Summit’s commitments, fostering discussion on specific issues and promoting initiatives to achieve the goals set in the areas of higher education, skills and research.

The webinar series, jointly organised by AAU and OBREAL Global, was open to stakeholders from across the African continent, as well as EU colleagues and partners worldwide who have a keen interest in the development of African higher education and its global projection. With interpretation provided in French, English and Portuguese, the series ensured inclusivity and accessibility to a wider audience.

The dialogue series was sponsored by the HAQAA2 initiative, a flagship programme of the Africa-EU Partnership funded by the European Union. HAQAA2 has been instrumental in advancing the harmonisation of higher education in Africa and supporting the realisation of the goals set out in the African Union Continental Strategy for Education (CESA) for higher education.

The series began with an inaugural webinar on 24 March 2022, which provided an overview of the key outcomes of the Africa-EU Summit and their relevance to the higher education sector. Subsequent events in the series focused on specific aspects of the Summit’s declaration, exploring the central role of universities and the higher education sector in realising the goals.

Key themes and speakers:

Webinar 1: The Africa-EU Summit: Key takeaways for the higher education sector

  • Olusola Oyewole, Secretary General, AAU
  • Ramon Torrent, President, OBREAL Global
  • Deirdre Lennan, DG INTPA, European Commission
  • Michael Hörig, Head of Brussels Office, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • Albert Nsengiyumva, Association for the Development of Education in Africa
  • Cathrine Ngila, African Academy of Sciences
  • Amr Ezzat Salama, Association of Arab Universities

Webinar 2: Developing entrepreneurial skills for Africa – a new focus and impetus

  • Ms Carla Giulietti, European Commission, Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture
  • Mr Samuel Matonda, CEO, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI)
  • Prof. Slim Khalbous, Rector of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)
  • Dr. Rosemond Aboagyea Boohene, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Small Enterprise Development, University of Cape Coast
  • Prof. Utz Dornberger, Professor of Development Economics, University of Leipzig

Webinar 3: Digitalisation and Higher Education – New Opportunities and Challenges for Africa and Europe

  • James Jowi, African Network for Internationalisation of Education
  • Nodumo Dhlamini, Director of Communications, AAU
  • Anastasia Economou, European Commission, Joint Research Centre
  • Maissa Mbaye, Centre for Mathematics, Informatics and ICT, Senegal
  • Sharon Flynn, Director of Digital Education, Irish University Association (IUA), Ireland

Webinar 4: University research for innovation, resilience and poverty reduction

  • Nienke Buisman, Head of Unit F.2 International Cooperation, European Commission
  • Ms Stella A. Amoa, Association of Research Universities in Africa (ARUA)
  • Prof. Chomora Mikeka, Director of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Education, Malawi
  • Dr Marirajan Thiruppathi, DVC: Research and Innovation, UNICAF, Zambia
  • Rosemary Wolson, Vice President: Innovation and Technology Transfer, Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) and Director: Technology Transfer Office, University of Johannesburg

Throughout the webinar series, participants engaged in fruitful discussions, shared knowledge and explored opportunities for collaboration between Africa and Europe in higher education, research and skills development. The sessions featured a mix of short statements from expert speakers, panel discussions and insightful case study presentations.

OBREAL Global and AAU would like to thank all speakers, partners and participants for their valuable contributions and commitment to promoting excellence and innovation in higher education in Africa. As a result of the series, the higher education sector in both continents is now better equipped to pursue the objectives of the Summit and create impactful opportunities in line with its focus on higher education, skills and research.

check out the recodings of the webinar series