Education ministers across the world have pledged greater support for higher education in Africa, calling for more attention to be paid to aspects of science such as agriculture, energy and indigenous knowledge systems.
The UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education, held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris earlier this month (July) called for greater collaboration between African universities, as well as national and regional collaborations, to bring together researchers and problem-solvers.
A communiqué issued at the end of the conference also supported the fast-tracking of an Association of African Universities to develop quality assurance systems.
It said that new formulae for funding higher education must be found, especially those that might draw on public-private partnership ideas.
Chinese Education Minister Ji Zhou proposed a new international partnership plan and said China would assist 20 of its elite universities to foster partnerships with 20 African universities. And the United States pledged to help create centres of excellence in Africa.