Amphithéâtre E - 11h30 - 12h45

Africa is the youngest continent in the world, and the education sector has expanded rapidly in the last few decades. While access has improved, unfortunately quality has suffered, and this is being felt at the institutions of higher learning as well.

At the same time science is being recognised more and more as holding the promise of transforming the lives of Africans. The ambitious Agenda 2063 sets out to transform the continent’s fortunes through inclusive growth and sustainable development. This, however, depends on heavy investment in skills development as well as R&D and innovation.

According to the World Economic Forum on Africa, “the continent is home to 15% of the world’s population and 25% of the global burden of disease, but it produces just 2% of the world’s research output”. They go on to say that for the continent simply to attain the world average of researchers per million people Africa has to produce an additional one million PhDs.

Given the current challenges in the quality of graduate and doctoral training, this, therefore, looks like an insurmountable challenge. That said, there are various initiatives within the continent that are taking on the challenge, and our panel of prominent and distinguished African Scientists are at the front-line of this fight.

In this session, therefore, we will explore the opportunities that African Academics have to contribute to the development of quality universities and higher education centres so that the full potential of science can be harnessed in propelling the continent forward.


Connie2Connie Nshemereirwe, Actualise Africa


Allia2Kedidja Allia, university of sciences and technology Houari Boumediène in Algiers (Algeria)

Sarr2Mamadou Sarr, University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar (Senegal)

Wade2Aïssa Wade, African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Mbour (Senegal)