Briefing from ROAPE Volume 32 Number 104/5
Higher Education in Africa: the Commission for Africa
In the Commission for Africa report, Our Common Interest, the headline recommendations are about trade, aid and debt. But it also puts the spotlight on Africa's crumbling universities. Whatever specific policies and development plans for Africa emerge from the report, implementation will be left to Africa's university graduates. It is they who have the task of making Africa grow and develop. It is the universities and polytechnics of Africa which will produce the pharmacists to run the pharmacies, the engineers to staff the industries and the teachers to run the schools. The last decade has seen DFID and other donors target development effort on primary education leaving to fend for itself the sector that must produce trained men and women. A better balance is now returning and attention will refocus on the tertiary sector. It is time for the UK to reassess its role in supporting higher education in Africa.