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Our online debate was held on 28 July, questioning the future of education and funding in African universities. 2015 was an explosive year for South African higher education, with protests at colleges and campuses across the country. As the student-led #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements gathered momentum, they sparked nationwide discussions on what ‘equal access’ to education means in an era of escalating fees, rising unemployment and sluggish social mobility — and on the state of social justice in South Africa today, 22 years after the end of apartheid.
Josepha Foba is an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Buea, Cameroon. Josepha has over 20 years of teaching and research experience, and over 16 years of university research management. She has a keen interest in the development of women, the promotion of excellence in African research and innovation systems, as well as sustainability in research and development.
Mariéme Jamme is a Senegalese-born British businesswoman specialising in technology. Her consultancy company, SpotOne Global Solutions, helps technology companies get a foothold in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She has been named one of the 100 most influential Africans by the African Business Magazine and 20 youngest powerful women by Africa Forbes. She is co-founder of Africa Gathering and Accur8Africa, and founder of a new movement called www.iamthecode.org #iamthecode
Brian Kamanzi is a student activist and writer, who participated in the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements. He studied engineering at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Abiodun Momodu is senior research fellow at the Centre for Energy Research and Development at Obafemi Awowolo University in Nigeria. He has a PhD in energy planning and system modelling from the African Institute of Science, Policy and Innovation, Obafemi Awowolo University in Nigeria
Keolebogile Shirley Motaung is a professor and assistant dean of Postgraduate Studies, Research & Innovation, at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Pretoria, South Africa
Beatrice Muganda is director of higher education at the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), in Nairobi, Kenya. Beatrice is an education policy practitioner promoting partnerships for graduate teaching of social science research and public policy
Paul Nampala is grants manager at the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 60 member universities in Africa, headquartered in Kampala, Uganda. He is a graduate of Makerere University and the University of Liverpool and holds a PhD in crop pest ecology.
Michael Okoh deputy dean of the faculty of basic medical sciences at the University of Abuja, Nigiera. He is also the national coordinator for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Helsinki, Finland