A committee that will plan the establishment of an African Education Trust Fund (AETF) has been set up by the Association of African Universities (AAU), alongside the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) and the African Private Sector Summit (APSS).
The fifteen-member committee, chaired by Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a Ghanaian diplomat cum former minister of education as well as trade and industry, comprises of experts in African higher education, reputable African scholars, business executives and representatives of relevant continental institutions.
AAU is Africa’s apex higher education body whose membership comprises about 400 universities from across the continent while PACCI represents the interest of African chambers of commerce and industry businesses. The duo had in March 2021 signed a partnership to stimulate deeper dialogue on refining academia-private sector relationships in Africa as well as expanding academia-private sector cooperation.
“The Parties agreed to launch a special African Education Trust Fund (AETF) to raise funds to develop and strengthen a resilient African education system that produces the right skills set required to transform the continent into an economic powerhouse through human capacity development, academic scholarships, development of responsive curricula in all disciplines and infrastructural development in African higher education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems,” said a joint press statement by AAU and PACCI.
The statement describes AETF as one of the key components of the AAU-PACCI pact whose actualization is being promoted by the APSS, along with a bill of rights for a seamless business environment in the continent, which being financed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). They believe this will aid Africa’s quest for regional integration through education, trade and investment under Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
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