The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) hosted the African University Day celebrations with an exhibition and a High Level Panel Discussion on the theme; “Entrepreneurial Learning & Communities of Practice” as part of activities to climax the week-long celebration. The panel discussion featured Prof. Goski Alabi, Dean, Centre for International Education and Collaboration, Mr. Mike Nyinaku, Chief Executive Officer, BEIGE Capital and Dr. Josephine Larbi-Apau, Head of Graduate School & E-Learning Management System, Presbyterian University College.
The Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with private and public Ghanaian universities, as well as other higher education stakeholders participated in the event to mark the day. In his address, Prof. Etienne Ehile, AAU Secretary-General expressed appreciation to the Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, and the entire university community for hosting the event. He said the Association is playing a key role in promoting and sustaining best practices across Higher Education Institutions on the continent, indicating that, this has been possible through the various development partners of the Association.
Prof. Ehile stated that, Ghana is one of the key countries on the continent which continue to strongly promote the advancement of higher education. He also paid tribute to the government of Ghana for generously providing the Association with a new ultra-modern two-storey secretariat building to be inaugurated in June, 2017 as part of activities marking the golden jubilee celebration of the AAU.
“Fifty years of serving the African continent as its voice for matters on higher education and development issues, is indeed, a great feat worth celebrating,” he remarked.
He said the rate of unemployment among graduates in Africa had reached a worrisome level, therefore African universities should expose their students to the possibility of creating their own jobs by deepening their entrepreneurial skills; since quality entrepreneurial education is a vital tool for fighting poverty and unemployment in Africa.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joshua Alabi, said the theme for the African University Day could not have come at a more opportune time given the high number of unemployed youth particularly graduates from higher educational institutions across Africa.
“This situation is indeed, a matter of deep concern and has engaged the attention of policy makers, educators, and managers of higher educational institutions; regarding the urgent need to stimulate job creation for the youth, who graduate from various higher educational institutions in Africa,” he said. It is also heart-warming that AAU is engaging the various stakeholders, especially from industry, to bridge the gap between research and industry and to ensure the relevance of curricula to national development,” he added.
Some of this year’s participating universities were drawn from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana Institute of Management & Public Administration (GIMPA), Wisconsin International University College, Islamic University College, Ashesi University; Kumasi Polytechnic University, University of Health and Allied Sciences among others.