The Vice Chancellor urges African governments to invest in Higher Education

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By Taigu Muchiri

The annual Mwalimu Nyerere Intellectual festival was held at the University of Dar Es Salaam in May. This year’s theme ‘Pan-Africanism and the quest for unity, democratization and development: The state, markets and knowledge society’ saw a guest list of intellectuals from East Africa headline the event including Prof. Patrick Lumumba, the former President of the Republic of Tanzania Dr. Jakaya Kikwete and Prof. Paul Zeleza.

Speaking during the event, Prof. Paul Zeleza addressed the Higher Education of the future and its importance in solving challenges in the sector. He mentioned that universities in Africa need to adopt new ways of teaching through technology otherwise they might be rendered irrelevant and unable to compete on a global scale. He added that the fourth industrial revolution is inevitable and was upon us and Africa should play a part in promoting the revolution. He reiterated that the higher education of the future in Africa need to restructure their curricula that is inclusive, innovative, intersectional and inter-displinary.

The Vice chancellor also urged African governments to support and invest more in universities. He said that universities in Africa are currently struggling to raise sufficient resources to be able to deliver on their key mandate. Most institutions are closing down because the financial obligation is too much for them to continue running. Other institutions have resulted to diversifying revenue streams in order to keep their doors open. This strategy is not recommended as it compromises on the quality of education and graduates. He mentioned that the main activity of a university should be to impart knowledge to young people who are going to take over the running of their respective countries and organizations. He closed his speech by urging universities across the globe to cooperate and ensure that every young person will have access to education at the university level.

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