The new normal has been revealing. An oscillation between threats and opportunities. On one end, we are exposed and the revelation, our great need for physical connectedness. The restrictions posed by the COVID-19 have limited our ability to connect. Conversely, the new normal has also revealed how much we need partnerships to thrive, with technology playing an important part. For African universities, it becomes vital to collaborate. Consequently, University of Kigali (UoK) has partnered with 4 renowned institutions of higher learning in South Africa; Walter Sisulu University (WSU), University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), University of Fort Hare and the National Institute of the Humanities and Social Sciences to organize an Inaugural African Higher Education Teaching, Learning and Research Conference at its Kigali campus for its staff and students. The 3-day conference facilitated by scholars from the South African partner institutions started on February 9 and ends on February 11, 2022, with a focus on discussions around ‘Decolonizing the Curriculum’, ‘Basics on Research Topics and Supervision’, ‘Basics of Research’ and ‘Making Sense of the Process of Attracting Cents’. The cross-pollination of ideas, especially within African universities is needed because our presented challenges, often similar, necessitate the need for working together. The situation on the African continent is still ominous. A recent World Bank report directs focus in improving continental dynamic capabilities. For such to happen, a twofold focus is needed. First, African universities need to develop a skilled human resource cohort of world-class standards. Such a cohort needs to be sufficiently trained and also entrenched in solving local challenges. Other aspects of focus should pay attention to human resource practices, such as talent management strategies and remuneration. This encourages the challenge of the brain drain where African labour is mainly benefitting Western countries. Lets improve the material conditions of the African workforce. There is no other substitute for quality. A second priority is an investment in technologies of the future. Something as basic as an investment in affordable high-speed internet connectivity can assist in the developmental agenda. There is a noted observation that many of our socio-economic imperatives require this development orientation in mind. For instance, we note the rise in aspects of informality on the African continent. There is a need for such technologies to arrive in such sectors where our people ply their trade. The role of the African university becomes critical also in all this. Many African countries have a growing youth population. There is a need for continued investment in this young population. Many of these young people still see the university as a helpful outlet to get the skills for the workforce. The African university becomes an essential citadel with the potential of a spill-over effect to other sectors of society. A second work to be prioritized in African universities centers around addressing infrastructure challenges. A Deloitte Report bemoans the challenge of infrastructure as a significant obstacle to Africa achieving total economic growth. To enhance competitiveness, there is a need to invest in infrastructure that encourages connectivity in African universities. The critical role of partnerships becomes necessary now more than ever. This is the type of collaboration that is mutually beneficial by maximizing economies of scale and fostering synergies. Our visit to Rwanda attests to the importance of such collaboration especially amongst African scholars. Funded by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences in South Africa, we aim to use this trip to forge these partnerships for African excellence. Colleagues and students at the University of Kigali have been welcoming and are seeking with us ways for collaboration in research, joint teaching, new curriculum development, short course attendance, and the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students. As a research team we are already impressed by what we are seeing in the land of a thousand hills. From the warm embrace and love shown by the people of Rwanda to an appreciation of how clean the country is. Then there is the level consciousness around promoting African innovations and the green economy. All this presents learning points for us as visitors to Rwanda. Such research partnerships between African universities attest to the continued history of working together on the African continent. The clarion call by President Paul Kagame is weighted with challenge and also opportunity: “Africa’s story has been written by others; we need to own our problems and solutions and write our story.” Trips like these to Rwanda merely put us on the right path to writing our African stories. Willie Chinyamurindi is the Head of Department for Business Management and Professor at the University of Fort Hare. Munacinga Simatele is a Professor of Economics at the University of Fort Hare. Newlyn Marongwe is a Senior Lecturer at Walter Sisulu University, lecturing Psychology of Education and engaged in HIV Counseling as a Field Officer. Motshedisi Mathibe is a Senior Lecturer with the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science. The four are based in South Africa and funded under the National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences under the African Pathways Funding Instrument.