On 4 November 2016, UNU-IAS organized a seminar on Africa’s Future: From the Perspective of an African University President featuring Peter Mbithi, Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi and the Consortium Chair of Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA), as guest speaker.
The seminar was opened by Masafumi Nagao (Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS) who emphasized UNU’s role in support of Africa’s higher education, giving the example of the ESDA graduate programmes.
In his lecture, Prof. Mbithi pointed out that Africa is undergoing remarkable transformation and economic development, and African universities will continue to play a central role in this development over the next 50 years. This, he said, will call for addressing issues of curriculum development, employability of the graduating students, quality assurance, expansion of knowledge through research and its publication, and student access. He also emphasized the need to optimize learning and research possibilities by establishing linkages among African universities and institutes, and drawing on African scholars and professionals who are based outside the continent.
Following Prof. Mbithi’s lecture and discussions, Dr. Emmanuel Mutisya (Programme Coordinator, UNU-IAS) gave a brief presentation on the ESDA project – a multilateral graduate training and research program coordinated by UNU-IAS, whose focus is on harnessing the role of African universities for sustainable development. He also explained the Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative, an emerging programme whose approach centers on collaboration between young researchers and entrepreneurs to develop new industries, and create and disseminate new knowledge on entrepreneurial development for sustainable industrialization in Africa.