Abuja — Stakeholders in African education system have identified lack of political will to invest in education as the bane of development in the continent.
They have, therefore, challenged African leaders to go beyond rhetoric and place more emphasis on youth development, inclusive and equitable education, good governance and accountability in education management.
This was the consensus of many speakers at the opening of the ongoing 14th General Conference and the golden jubilee celebrations of the Association of African Universities (AAU) in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
The host President, Nana Akufo Addo, in his welcome remark, challenged Africa to set her own priorities on education and locate where to invest its funds in the sector.
Addo also challenged government of all African countries to summon political will to make Africa work.
"Africa must set her own priorities on any of its education level and locate where to invest its funds in the sector, Africa must never rely on the World Bank or any other development partners on where to focus between the basic and higher education. Africa recognises your critical role in developing and promoting knowledge societies fueled by skilled human capital we reiterate that you continue to place emphasize on youth development, inclusive and equitable education, good governance and accountability in education management"
Despite rising numbers of universities across the continent, Addo said the supply is yet to meet the demand.
On AAU's 50th anniversary celebration, the Ghanaian leader expressed concern that Africa is yet to excel in research, science and technology as well as higher education sub sector.
He appealed to the AAU to engage the private sector government and development agencies more at the local regional continental and global levels and appoint representatives of these bodies on its advisory boards.
The Gambian Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Badara Joof, said education in Africa will be meaningless if it fails to address challenges of corruption, tribalism and radicalisation of youths.
A former President of the association and keynote speaker at the conference, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said education is an obstructive catalyst to Africa's development.
Oloyede, who is currently the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB) disclosed that only six percent of young people in sub Saharan Africa enrol in higher education.
He challenged AAU to call for good governance among African leaders.