Call On Govts To Increase Higher Education Funding In Africa
“This will necessitate significant investment in education value chain, leveraging university, vocational colleges, secondary, and primary education to skill young people,” said Okori.
Dr. Patrick Okori, the incoming RUFORUM executive secretary, made another powerful plea at the Annual General Meeting for increased government funding into higher education (HE), science, and technology in order to provide opportunities and livelihoods to youth of Africa and ensure the continent’s economic sustainability.
Africa’s youth must be at the forefront of the region’s economic transformation. This has been a clarion call from a variety of policy and education platforms in 2022, the most recent being the high-level Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, or RUFORUM, one of the continent’s premier science institutions, which has been meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, since December 12.
Dr. Patrick Okori’s call comes at a time when political leaders of Africa have shifted blame for low state funding levels for research and development to universities, claiming they are not responsive to the needs of their communities and societies as the issue of higher education (HE) funding has emerged in the last year.
However, the AGM sent a clear message. Governments should increase their investments in research, development, and education to generate the knowledge needed for an economic revolution in Africa, thereby creating opportunities for the continent’s massive youth population.
The goods and services required for industrialization can be created by investing in universities and research institutions, allowing local economies to grow.
The efforts should be accelerated because Africa’s working-age population will grow by about 14% every five years over the next three decades, according to Okori.
This should be accomplished by harnessing the youth’s enormous potential and ensuring that it translates into “something meaningful,” allowing them to drive much-needed change, he said.
“This will necessitate significant investment in the education value chain, leveraging university, vocational colleges, secondary, and primary education to skill young people,” he said.
He stated unequivocally that higher education is the key to accelerating job creation for young Africans and that, when combined with science, technology, and innovation, it will be the answer to significantly higher rates of economic growth.