The third East African Community (EAC) Academia-Public-Private-Sector Forum aimed at discussing ways of improving education in higher learning institutions opens today in Kigali.
The Executive Secretary of the Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA), Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, said more than 250 delegates from EAC partner states were due to attend the two-day forum.
“We are expecting a very high turn-up and looking forward to constructive discussions,” he added.
The delegates are drawn from the EAC Secretariat and Institutions, heads of higher education institutions, national commissions and councils for higher education, government institutions and ministries, international organisations and NGOs, among others.
The forum is jointly organised by IUCEA, East African Business Council (EABC) and East African Development Bank (EADB) under the theme: “Harnessing East Africa’s Innovation Potential”.
It is aimed at coming up with practical strategies to support the development of academia-public-private partnership platforms in the EAC sectors strategic to socio-economic development as well as supporting private sector linked postgraduate training at Masters and PhD levels, according to a concept note.
The Executive Director of EABC, Andrew Luzze, said the forum will also look at developing human resource skilling and re-skilling activities and supporting the development of regional cluster-based research and innovation projects.
“In order to benchmark the East African initiative with what is happening in other parts of the world, experts have been invited from other African countries, Europe and Asia for the Forum,” stated Luzze.
The forum will consist of three keynote presentations by prominent individuals from Nigeria, South Africa and Singapore, indicating their countrys’ experiences. This will be followed by a presentation and discussion of study results on the higher education landscape, and research and innovation capacity building initiatives in East Africa.
Concurrently during the forum, over 30 higher education institutions, private sector institutions, government institutions and other stakeholders from the partner states will also exhibit their products and programmes.
In 2011, the IUCEA and EABC entered into a partnership aimed at providing the point of connection between knowledge and human resources produced by higher education institutions in the region on the one hand, and the dissemination of the same to the private sector for their eventual diffusion into the productive, social and service sectors on the other.