6th EAC Academia - Public - Private Partnership Forum and Exhibition concludes in Nairobi
President Kenyatta commends IUCEA for the outstanding achievements in higher education and research systems
East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 23rd March, 2018:
The 6th EAC Academia-Public-Private Partnership Forum (APPPF) and Exhibition 2018 concluded at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday 22nd March 2018, with a commendation by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta to the management of Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) for the outstanding achievements in the development of higher education and research systems that are responding to the regional social economic development needs, in particular transforming East Africa into a Common Higher Education Area.
The aim of the APPPF is to provide a point of connection between knowledge and human resources produced by the academia on the one hand, and on the other hand, the dissemination and utilization of such knowledge by the private and public sectors, for eventual diffusion into the productive, social and service sectors in the Community. The theme of the 6th APPPF and Exhibition 2018 was the East African Common Higher Education Area: Opportunities for Industrialisation through Academia-Public-Private Partnerships.
Addressing the official opening ceremony, President Uhuru Kenya said that it his conviction that once effectively operational, which IUCEA should work hard so that, the Common Higher Education Area will contribute significantly to the shaping of the landscape and impact of higher education of the East African Community.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was represented by Hon. Peter Munya, the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community and Northern Corridor Development, urged the participants to come up with concrete proposals for policy and decision makers on how the region can shape-up and refine its industrialisation strategies for maximum utilisation of abundant natural resources for the industrialisation of the bloc.
The Guest of honour challenged the participants to consider leveraging the region’s human resources and skills potentials to promote mobility of labour and services as provided for by the EAC Common Market Protocol, which calls for opening up education and training to the local environment and beyond through mobility by strengthening links with business and by developing education for enterprise.
“This should be one of the key milestones that the Common Higher Education Area and this partnership (Academia-Public-Private) should endeavour to achieve as building blocks for industrialisation of our region”, noted the President.
President Kenyatta urged the forum participants to consider innovative ways in which the Academia-Public-Private Partnership could be strengthened in order to increase productivity of public and private investments and services in higher education as a focus for a new investment paradigm in education and training; maintaining universities as a public responsibility; promoting and consolidating research as an integral part of higher education for impact enhancement to society; furthering mobility and the social dimension; making access to learning easier and accessible and making it easier to move from one part of the education system to another, across and between programs and system, and across borders; and rethinking the definition of skills for the knowledge society.
He commended the management of the Inter-University Council for East Africa for the outstanding achievements in the development of higher education and research systems that are responding to the regional social economic development needs, in particular transforming East Africa into a Common Higher Education Area.
“It is my conviction that once effectively operational, which IUCEA should work hard to that, the Common Higher Education Area will contribute significantly to the shaping of the landscape and impact of higher education of the East African Community”, affirmed H.E Uhuru Kenyatta.
At the Forum, Rt. Hon. Kirunda Kivejinje, the Chairperson, EAC Council of Ministers and Uganda’s 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC Affairs, noted that given the difﬁculties of entering into highly-competitive global markets, and the lack of prospects for a signiﬁcant upsurge of foreign investments in the manufacturing sector, the only realistic option for the development of EAC industry was to focus on both ‘recapturing domestic markets’ and simultaneously exploiting better, the potential of regional markets and the resources at hand within the public and private sectors of which research and innovation were critical prerequisites.
The Chairperson of the Council observed that historically, the EAC economies had continued to be dominated by agriculture as the core economic sector employing 90% of the region’s respective populations and accounting for 24% to 46% of gross domestic product (GDP). On the other hand, the contribution of manufacturing to the GDP in East Africa was estimated at 8.9%, which is considerably below the average target of about 25% that the EAC Partner States have set for themselves to achieve by 2032.
He said the industrial sector in the region had the potential to reverse this trend and transform significantly the EAC economies to create jobs and stimulate the development of other sectors, with research and innovation taking the centre stage.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Inter- University Council for East Africa, Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje disclosed that the Academia-Public-Private Partnership Forum had, in the short span of its existence, exhibited great potential for playing a critical and catalytic role in spurring socio-economic development in the Community through various interventions.
“The partnership is expected to exploit the available political commitment and enabling legal framework at the national and regional levels to drum-up and consolidate views of stakeholders, for the outcome of the Forum and Exhibitions to spearhead the implementation of the socio-economic developmental agenda of the Community for achieving the region’s short- and long-term goals”.
Resolutions and Way Forward of the 6th EAC APPPF and Exhibition 2018
- IUCEA should strengthen the administrative arrangements for coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the process of transforming EAC into a Common Higher Education Area
- IUCEA should create a system that can document best practices from the Centres of Excellence to facilitate sharing of knowledge to promote industrialization. IUCEA should also recommend more centres of excellence in other areas.
- IUCEA should continue to facilitate networking among research institutions, academia and industry for best practice sharing, and building partnerships for collaborative R&D, technology and innovation within the region. In this regard, IUCEA should come up with a policy framework for university-industry collaboration.
- IUCEA should support new VCs with training on leadership and management to enable them transform their universities.
- Universities should Strengthen collaborations and networks amongst regional institutions including CoE to enhance capabilities for industrial policy design and management.
- Universities should Institutionalize Research & Research Uptake to create an enabling platform for industrialization.
- Universities should review their policies to require graduates to produce a research uptake component before they graduate.
- Universities should build their relationships with industry on a gradual and structured way by involving the industry in curriculum development, its delivery as guest lecturers, joint supervision and internships.
- Universities should fully embrace the use of ICT in teaching, research and administration. Available opportunities with German universities to set up virtual classrooms for collaborative teaching is worth considering.
- Partner States should establish/increase national research and innovations fund to promote sustainability of externally funded projects.
- Partner States should establish Regional Awards as a means to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurial efforts and support collaborative science technology and innovation initiatives.
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Mr Owora Richard Othieno
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About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified