Over time, it has become imperative for Africa to map out a strategy of regional cooperation and integration and lay the foundation for sustainable development. The establishment of the African Union (replacing the Organization of African Unity) is a step in that direction. The union aims at achieving greater unity and solidarity and accelerating the political and socio-economic integration of the continent.
In great efforts by the African Union to accomplish what it has set out to achieve in making the continent a better one, AGENDA 2063 was introduced.
Now, what exactly is agenda 2063?
Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is said to be the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance. Agenda 2063 encapsulates not only Africa’s Aspirations for the Future but also identifies key Flagship Programmes which can boost Africa’s economic growth and development and lead to the rapid transformation of the continent. It also identifies key activities to be undertaken in its 10-year Implementation Plans which will ensure that Agenda 2063 delivers both quantitative and qualitative Transformational Outcomes for Africans.
I believe one of the easiest ways to push this Agenda forward is through Education. Africa acknowledges the fact that social and economic development is not possible without substantive investment in education and research especially at the tertiary level.
Getting an education is not just a fundamental human right, It is pivotal to increasing employment and income opportunities. It is fundamental to breaking the cycle of poverty. Education is the key to unlocking the golden door of freedom for all in Africa. It is the bedrock of social and economic development.
Education is crucial as it is an investment in human capital. This yields tremendous benefits at many levels and spheres. It benefits the individual, family community, and nation. Education is a sustainable means to alleviate poverty and bring lasting change.
Consequently, to effect permanent change, any effort to bring lasting change must include education, in one way or the other.
Recently, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Architect Sonny Echono, played host to a team from the African Union Commission for Education led by Prof Mohammed Belhocine, the commissioner for education who came to the Fund on a courtesy visit… An impactful visit which I was privileged to witness.
The Fund, generally known for providing support for research and development in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, during the visit, revealed its readiness to forge a partnership with the Pan African University to push the African Union agenda forward. Arc. Echono further said that the Nigerian government is actually thinking in the direction of promoting technology and is in the process of establishing a national institute in Abuja, which will be a post graduate institution intended to promote the technological transformation of the country.
I personally think it’s a plus for the education sector in Nigeria considering the fact that there hasn’t been much attention given to technology in most of our tertiary institutions recently.
The Pan African University (PAU) is the culmination of continental initiatives of the Commission of the African Union to revitalise higher education and research in Africa. According to the African Union, the PAU will greatly boost the population and retention of high-level human resources and quality knowledge outputs and will attract the best intellectual capacity from all over the world.
Fortunately, the Pan African University partnership with TETFund will most definitely yield positive results with the latter providing tremendous support in terms of construction of more classrooms, procurement of laboratory equipment and all other basic infrastructure needed. This major development will provide a conducive environment and it will enable student researchers to learn one or two things to attract values. It will also be a huge opportunity for scholars to troop into the university.
With this, the goals of the African Union is being geared towards the right direction with education as an early foundation, encouraging research through the Pan African University and bringing young Africans together to study and conduct research for about three to five years and in the process they get to know each other better in cultures, languages and beliefs. And this will create the real idea of Pan Africanism, a step to realising Agenda 2063 (The Africa We Want).
Rahma Olamide Oladosu is a Staff Writer with the Economic Confidential