The African Research University Alliance (ARUA) on Friday launched a five-year Strategic Plan (2022-2027) to enable public universities support the transformation of Africa through research and innovation.
The plan would align ARUA’s current initiatives with its core vision of significantly expanding and enhancing the quality of research carried out in Africa, by African researchers, to consolidate gains made since its inception in 2015.
ARUA was a network of 16 selected flagship universities in Africa with a common vision to expand and enhance significantly the quality of research carried out by African researchers.
Launching the Strategic Plan, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, the Secretary-General of ARUA, said the universities would work together to provide knowledge through research that would lead to findings related to Africa’s developmental challenge.
He said, “we believe strongly that no university in Africa on its own can provide what is required.”
Prof. Aryeetey said the idea was to bring together expertise in order to find solutions to climate change, food security, energy and water supply and disease control, among many others.
He said the plan focused on strategic areas, thus enhancement of research, enhancement of graduate training and support for African Universities, building of institutional capability for research management and a push for advocacy and leverage.
Prof. Aryeetey said through the research enhancement, ARUA would develop research capacity through an ARUA model of early career and post doctoral fellowships through collaborative research, while increasing the scale, scope and the quality of inter-disciplinary collaborative research among African universities.
He said in enhancing graduate training, ARUA would ensure access to resources for competence-based outcomes while developing doctoral programmes and expanding financial support for graduate training.
Prof. Aryeetey said under the institutional capability for research management, there would be a framework for professional research management, research management standards, capacity building for research management and monitoring and exchanges among the universities.
In ensuring advocacy and leverage, he said, ARUA would be committed to performance monitoring, go into partnership with regional bodies and international universities, engage multi-level stakeholders while embarking on growing its income and funding.
“The workshop we held before the launch has been able to provide an opportunity for the universities to learn how to generate the kind of evidence needed through data,” Prof. Aryeetey said.
He said over the next five years, the universities planned to work together with African governments, African Union and African stakeholders.