» Higher education key for achieving SDGs in East Africa and the Indian Ocean
03.05.2017 - Education Sector

Higher education key for achieving SDGs in East Africa and the Indian Ocean

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A conference on Higher Education, Policy and Research titled “Quality and Future Challenges for East Africa and the Indian Ocean” taking pace in Djibouti, 2 to 4 May 2017, hails higher education as the necessary backbone for achieving the commitments Sustainable Development Goals in the Region.

The gathering focuses on how to strengthen reform to promote science research at national and regional levels for socio-economic and environmental development, promoting resilience strategies vis-à-vis science and climate change by pooling intellectual and financial resources, promoting peace and security, and accelerating ICT integration in Higher Education for the region.

This conference is timely, as the Eastern Africa Region, along with the entire continent, have elaborated ambitious reform agendas to address old and new developmental challenges that rely heavily on the capacity of higher education, to lead the intellectual and technological processes. In most of the Eastern Africa countries, there are now new visions with specific goals and deadlines to propel nations into becoming middle-income countries by putting in place capacities to use scientific knowledge and technologies to transform their economies into knowledge-based ones.

At the conference, the ratification of the Addis Ababa Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States will be a top priority of the agenda. This convention replaces and builds on the 1981 Arusha Convention with the overall aim of strengthening and promoting inter-regional and international co-operation in the field of recognition of qualifications and mobility of students, teaching staff and researchers in Africa, as well as establishing mechanisms for enhancing the quality of higher education institutions and systems.

Issues on Higher Education and the importance of ensuring quality education, especially at the higher education level, through scholarships abroad and grants, allowing students from Africa to freely move and study within the Africa continent, will be of paramount importance in the discussions.  Among others, ministries of higher education and research from the thirteen countries of the Eastern Africa Region, namely Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are attending the conference organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Government of Djibouti. 

Young students from the Eastern Africa Region will be part of the dialogue, speaking up and helping ministries, universities, tertiary education institutions to shape a world where higher education can improve entry to the job market for students and higher opportunities for professional development at the individual level, and overall economic development of the countries.

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