Nearly 100 leaders in higher education will debate the role of universities in East Africa and their contributions to nation-building at a conference to be held in Addis Ababa, the British Council has announced today.
At the conference, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chair of the African Union Commission (AU), will deliver a keynote address on the role of innovation in realising inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa.
The Global Education Dialogue, to be held on 27th November 2015, is part of the British Council’s world conference series which brings together leaders, key policy makers and influencers to debate the challenges and opportunities facing higher education. Through the theme of Building nations through innovation: the role of universities, the conference will consider how universities can build innovation hubs that are both global and local.
The conference will also consider the role of universities as more than just centres of teaching, learning and research, but also as catalysts for change, growth and investment. Delegates will discuss the increasingly crucial role universities play as anchor institutions in both established and emerging nations and the role of innovation in this process.
Dr Jo Beall, Director Education and Society and member of the Executive Board for the British Council and former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, said: “Universities are the anchors, shapers and innovators of nations. This conference will discuss how universities can build globally and locally, engaged and relevant innovation hubs. Delegates will consider how universities can maximise their human capital, knowledge creation and engagement activities to drive change and strengthen communities to contribute to the building of nations.”
Ethiopia, which has witnessed rapid growth in its higher education system with 30 universities having been established in a space of 15 years, will be represented by its Education Minister, Shiferaw Shigute Wolassa, and Dr Arkebe Oqubay, Minister and Special Advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister on education, who is also the founding Chancellor of the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University.
Other notable speakers at the conference will be Dr Thandi Mgwebi, the Executive Director of Research Chairs and Centres of Excellence in South Africa and the head of Kenya’s Commission for University Education, Professor David Some.
Sessions will cover:
How can universities maximise their human capital to drive change, strengthen communities and contribute to nation building?
How do we measure the economic and societal impact of universities and innovation?
How can government and industry work together with universities to drive positive change?