On February 1, 2012, the Institute of International Education (IIE) hosted an event to commemorate the launch of Weaving Success: Voices of Change in African Higher Education, a new publication that tells of innovation and change across campuses and national boundaries. IIE convened this event on behalf of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, an unprecedented collaboration between seven major U.S. foundations to support African higher education institutions in building capacity and training the next generation of scholars, public servants, and entrepreneurs. The ten-year, $440 million initiative was directly and indirectly responsible for improving conditions for over four million students at 379 African colleges and universities.
The initiative served nine African countries: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The PHEA foundations included: Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation.
There were two panels at the event. The first, Investing in African Higher Education: Goals and Outcomes of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, was chaired by Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of IIE; and included remarks from Omotade Akin Aina, Program Director, Higher Education and Libraries in Africa, Carnegie Corporation of New York; and William F.L. Moses, Program Director, Education, The Kresge Foundation. The two panelists spoke in particular about the importance of foundations working together to address pressing issues such as building capacity in African higher education institutions.
The second panel, "Supporting the Ongoing Transformation of African Higher Education," was chaired by Teboho Moja, Clinical Professor of Higher Education, New York University; and included the participation of Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana; Olugbemiro Jegede, Secretary General, Association of African Universities; and Brian O’Connell, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Cape. Professor Moja structured the panel around three questions: How has the transformation agenda changed since the launch of the PHEA funding? What lessons have been learned? What are emerging challenges that need to be prioritized at the moment?
In his remarks Secretary General Jegede noted that "higher education in Africa must focus on global competitiveness while it strives to be locally relevant and centrally placed to contribute meaningfully to sustainable total development of the continent, countries, and individuals....The way forward for African higher education is collaboration and working within a continental framework." To read the full transcript of Secretary General Jegede's remarks, please click here.
In addition, Megan Lindow, the author of Weaving Success, spoke to the audience via Skype from South Africa about the challenges and rewards of researching and writing the book. In particular, she elaborated on the numerous individuals across Africa whom she interviewed and how their stories helped her understand the intricate processes of change happening across the continent.
About Weaving Success
Weaving Success details how the support from the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) helped to catalyze social and economic development in African higher education. With inspiring tales of success from African professors, university administrators, and students, Weaving Success examines the exceptional steps that African universities have made over the past decade to apply their innovations in ways that benefit their respective societies, and highlights the transformative processes that are shaping the future of African colleges and universities.
Weaving Success is available for download in a variety of electronic formats. For more information and to download the book, please visit: www.iie.org/weavingsuccess
Agenda for the Launch Event
Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education
Investing in African Higher Education: Goals and Outcomes of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa
Omotade Akin Aina, Program Director, Higher Education and Libraries in Africa, Carnegie Corporation of New York
William F.L. Moses, Program Director, Education, The Kresge Foundation
Impressions from the Field: A Videoconference with the Author of Weaving Success
Moderator: Suzanne Grant Lewis, Former Coordinator, PHEA
Megan Lindow, Author, Weaving Success
Supporting the Ongoing Transformation of African Higher Education: A Panel Discussion
Moderator: Teboho Moja, Clinical Professor of Higher Education, New York University
Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana
Olugbemiro Jegede, Secretary General, Association of African Universities
Brian O’Connell, Rector & Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Cape
Question-and-Answer Session and Wrap-Up