Poor training making African graduates unemployable –Secretary General, AAU

Participants in a pose

Participants in a pose

The Secretary General of the Association of African Universities, Etienne Ehile has identified poor training provided by some African universities as the main reason why most of their graduates become unemployable.

“Many African tertiary institutions produce half-baked graduates that are not fit for the world of work mainly because of the way they are taught and absence of curricula reviews that should respond to the calls of industry’s contemporary needs,” Mr Ehile said in a speech read on his behalf to open a workshop on “21st Century Quality Assurance Knowledge and Skills at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

The workshop, sought to, among others, promote the quality of higher education in Africa through improving quality assurance measures to achieve excellence in service delivery of our respective institutions.

Mr Ehile said, it had long been noted that a country’s global competitiveness relies on the effectiveness of its institutions in preparing prospective graduates for industry and the world of work.

“However, no nation can sustainably progress without a contribution from its higher education sector which provides research, knowledge and skills that are needed to sustain socio-economic development in a country and the African continent at large,” he said.

Mr Ehile said, “as the poorest continent, Africa needs to revive its higher education systems to produce home-grown solutions to overcome its myriad development challenges. The issue of quality in higher education, he said, is very close to the heart of the Association of African Universities which currently has a membership of over 380 higher education institutions, spread across all the five regions of the continent of Africa.


He told the participants that since most of them belong to such institutions working tirelessly towards training Africa’s ever growing youth bulge, the AAU, look forward to working more closely with them to make a lasting impact in the higher education scene in the entire continent.

Mr Ehile said, AAU’s mission is to raise the quality of higher education in Africa and strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development by fostering collaboration among its members as well as providing support to member universities’ core functions of teaching, learning, research and community engagement.

He said, today’s higher education institutions are being challenged by high competition for students due to globalisation and cross-border provision of higher education, privatisation of higher education, high unemployment rate, and demand for accountability from stakeholders.

“These issues are driving institutions of higher learning across the world and Africa in particular to have systems and procedures in place to ensure quality education,” Ehile said, adding that, it is against this background that the AAU is providing this training course on Quality Assurance Knowledge and Skills to equip all quality assurance persons in Africa to update their knowledge on modern trends.

He said, this was also in line with the goals of the African Higher Education’s Pan African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF) which is being spearheaded by the African Union Commission (AUC) whose implementing arm is the AAU.

PAQAF came as a result of African HE ministers meetings held during the African Union (AU) Heads of States Summits.




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