31 July 2016

Ethiopia: African Universities and Sharing Global Legacy

editorial

One could pose the question "Why universities have not taken on some of the activities that are now associated with them?"

In the international arena, Africa should get its place. Universities should not be aloof in changing this continent.

Learning institutions around the world are making differences in conveying information, messages and facts that could benefit nations.

Yes, though beset by many challenges, many African universities are trying to address human power shortages. They as well are engaging in various community service and research activities. The universities' records show that the universities are addressing the challenges of Africans, improving performance. But as the demands are many, a lot is yet to be desired from them. Education is a prerequisite for any development and the democratization process that incorporates institutions. Truly, African universities are struggling to re-position themselves in an ever changing global environment.

Transformations in the global and local political economy, factors shaping the world of knowledge, generation and application as well as economic and social demands of the national and local communities in which they are situated, are presenting constant challenges.

As symbol of steady movements, there appears to be growing willingness in Africa to provide better attention to higher education institutions. At the same time, academia readiness to adjust to the demands of the African people and tailor approaches to face challenges is improving. But the reality is not as we laud it. That is a gap that need be addressed. Allocating enough money is the other challenge.

The African people deserve esteem as well as a life with the same level of humanity dignity. The reality is not as laudatory as it seems to be. Still education remains the critical question of the people of Africa.

The UN denial of permanent seat for Africa in the Security Council while the fact on the ground shows that 70 per cent of world conflict is taking place in Africa could be one issue. Second, the international institutions such as IMF and the World Bank stand to welcome and to cooperate in addressing o the demands of African people. Last but not least, mostly, ICC zooms its cameras towards Africans.

No one denies that, Africa is the origin of mankind and the powerhouse of resources. It as well has contributed to civilization and its sustenance. At the same time, subjugated, Africans were deprived not to cherish a life of dignity in the face of the continent.

All these disorder that twisted African's ordeal should be heard. Learning universities should speak louder to smash these injustices and to enlighten the global society.

The efforts of the Africa leaders who fought and fell for Africa's dignity and sovereignty should be acknowledged. The enlightened world system and shrewd approaches forces the continent to stoop to others.

The systems and structures that always vow not to be unbeaten is governing wants to remain subtle and sustain the business as usual fashion that should not be.

The light of education and the struggles, movements demanding rights across the world had changed the mood. Even though the ups and downs are many still in the course the brave hearts and universities have been holding high the baton.

Recently, the Addis Ababa University had inaugurated a forum aimed at basing Africa's development efforts on Africa's Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Premier Demeke Mekonnen said that Ethiopia is always at the forefront in the struggle for the respect of African people's dignity as exemplified in the support for 'African solutions for African problems' which is championed academically by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies of the AAU.

The Deputy Premier also underscored the importance of the Forum referring to two reasons. "First, Africans have so much in common, and second our problems can sustainably be resolved by ourselves."

According to him, African Dignity will not be limited to one event, it rather be an outcome of group of events of which the launch of the event will remain among the most important ones.

UN-University for Peace African Regional Programme Director Dr. Samuel Kale said: "Africa is not a new continent, it is a cradle of human kind. In consequence, Africans need to demand respect and dignity. We should not to be looked as inferior in the global environment."

The stance of all universities should be tuned as per the demands of the peoples as well the economic benefits and centring humanity and restoring faith in humanity.

The South, West, East and the North parts of Africa universities should look ways to address the demands of peoples.

In the new millennium the institutional demography of African higher education was undergoing marked change with new forms of demand, new stakeholders, new modes of provision and new providers.

The SDGs could not be realized without concerted passions of all actors. The universities should come to head most end to meet the demands of Africa. They as well should conform to necessities on the ground based on the driving forces of human capital and learning from the past history of the land.

Academias should look opportunities, make deadliness to adjust facilities to accommodate all the demands and herald issues to the Africans and the global community. That is why it is timely moving African universities forward and building shared global legacy.

Ethiopia

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