Collaboration of Scholars Key to Poverty Reduction in Africa: St. Mary’s University President


Addis Ababa April 27/ 2022 /ENA/ The collaboration of experienced and emerging scholars around Africa and beyond is pivotal to resolve the multi-faceted challenges of higher education and realize poverty reduction in the continent, St. Mary’s University President Wondwosen Tamrat said.

Addressing the 20th International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa here today,  the president said “this year’s partnership with the international network for higher education in Africa has further expanded the scope of our reach and work and has attracted an international pool of eminent scholars from the five continents.”

He further stated that this year’s engagement has especially provided an opportunity to bring around 30 early career academics and scientists who have been undertaking MasterClass workshops for two days.

Both the conference and the 3rd Higher Education for Africa, Asia and Latin America Symposium underway in the capital have managed to bring together experienced and emerging scholars, according to the president.

The various papers and panel discussions underlie the need for addressing the multi-faceted challenges of higher education in the region and beyond, thus making it a key tool for poverty reduction and economic development, Wondwosen pointed out.

Board President of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Bakri Osman Saeed said on his part that even before the pandemic, education in Africa faced many challenges; and the pandemic of course has a lot of direct effects on higher education as many of these effects are happening in many places in the continent.

That is why the need for online education is critical, he added.

Highlighting that many universities continued with campus education, the board president noted:  “We know that online education is hampered by internet interruption in the continent, although there are still pioneer universities in this regard.”

African has to therefore “develop new technologies and tools and utilize them, if we have to achieve these ambitious objectives,” Saeed further underscored.

The annual international conference, which focuses on higher education institutions’ endeavors, is a research platform where prominent educators and researchers from Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe take part.

This 20th International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa is jointly organized by St. Mary’s University, the Association of African Universities, University of KwaZul-Natal, Ministry of Education, the International Network for Higher Education in Africa, PROPHE Carnegie, and Mastrecard Foundation.

Ethiopian News Agency