African Academics Call for University Support

UnknownMembers of the academia have appealed to African governments to support universities on the continent to churn out graduates who can create jobs for themselves, rather than depending on governments and others for employment.

They say that would help reduce the high rate of unemployment among the youth in many African countries.

Contributing in a discussion to commemorate the African Universities Day Celebration hosted by the All Nations University in Koforidua, the representatives from both the public and private universities in Ghana emphasised the need to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

The African University Day was instituted in 1967 with a close link to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union, to bring African universities together.

In 1994, the then OAU declared 12 November of every year as the African University Day and it has since been observed and celebrated.

It currently has over 320 member institutions from both private and public universities across Africa.

Professor Kwasi Adarkwah, former Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who spoke on the theme: “How Can African Universities Enhance Capacity for Job Creation,” called for partnerships between universities and industries.

He said to be able to monitor the relevance of university programs to the job market, universities should take interest in the destinations of their graduates and that, he said, called for partnerships.

Professor Adarkwah said it was time African universities implemented suggestions that had been made several times during previous fora of the African University Day to give practical meaning to the objective of the celebration.

Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile, Secretary-General of the Association of the African Universities (AAU), said there appeared to be a mismatch between the educational provisions in Africa and the needs of the labour market, resulting in the twin problems of graduate employability and graduate unemployment.

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