The project also focuses on strengthening the Association of African Universities itself. This will ensure that the secretariat has reinforced abilities to work in partnerships with external stakeholders, with a specific focus on university-industry relations, and to support its member universities’ external stakeholder relations.
Activities in this regard include the revision of the Association of African Universities’ strategic plan, a mapping of African university relations with external stakeholders and applied policy research. The association’s strategic plan was reviewed by Dr Judith Woodsworth who worked as an external consultant with the association team in Ghana.
Also, 133 members of the Association of African Universities participated in a survey this year. The findings show that African universities are indeed taking initial steps to stimulate and deepen linkages with industry and the productive sector.
The importance of leadership both in terms of policy and personnel were noted as important enabling factors for promoting linkages. However, various capacity gaps in terms of requisite skills, research infrastructure, and funding represent significant challenges for many African universities.