Universities in Southern Africa have rallied to support the rebuilding of higher education in Zimbabwe, in what could evolve into a model of regional collaboration. Following a meeting of vice-chancellors in Cape Town, convened by the Southern African Regional Universities Association, a special envoy to Zimbabwe will be appointed to identify priority needs and develop an action plan to assist a sector devastated by a decade of political turmoil.
Last month African exporters learned that it is bad business to put all your eggs in one basket. As the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud grounded flights to Europe, pineapples in Ghana and roses in Kenya rotted in warehouses and workers were told to stay at home. The lesson also applies to Africa's academics.
The increasing number of students in tertiary institutions in several Nigerian cities has caused serious accommodation problems and campus hostels can no longer cope with demand.
Unpaid student grants and benefits have led to violent demonstrations in Antsiranana, Madagascar - in which one student was killed in a confrontation with security forces - and in Dakar, Senegal.
Tunisia has unveiled a new savings-and-loan programme to lower the unemployment rate of nearly 15% for new university graduates. The scheme will offer graduates a chance to generate enough capital to launch their own businesses.
In February 99-year-old World War II veteran and former teacher, Akasease Kofi Boakye Yiadom, graduated from the Presbyterian University College Business School in Abetifi, Ghana.
The University of Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis and the Senegalese non-governmental organisation Espoir pour la Santé have signed a higher education and research agreement for collaboration in the health sciences, with priority given to fighting malaria and schistosomia.
Social and health sciences are among priority areas in an agreement of cooperation between Burkina Faso's National Centre of Scientific Research and Technology and the French Institute of Research for Development.
Zimbabwe has sworn in its first human rights commission, led by and comprised mainly of academics - at a time when academic freedoms are being violated and students have protested against a visit to the country by hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Violence broke out on the campus of the University of Nouakchott, in the Mauritanian capital, among students divided over the use of Arabic and French as the country's common languages. University authorities called in security agents to subdue the violence, which left several students seriously wounded.
Minister for Technical Education and Professional Training Moussa Sakho has launched a project to create a new university in the Saint-Louis region. The Université des Métiers et du Développement Durable (University of Professions and Sustainable Development), due to open in 2012, is a joint public-private venture.
Students at the University Nord d'Antsiranana took to the streets to protest against non- payment of a 10% increase in grants and other benefits promised by the Minister for Higher Education three weeks before, reported l'Express de Madagascar of Antananarivo.
Lecturers at Unikin, the University of Kinshasa, have returned to work after a strike lasting nearly two months, following an agreement between the government and Apukin, the union representing the university's teaching staff, reported Le Potentiel of Kinshasa.
Algeria's access to the knowledge society depended on developing the Arabic language so it could compete with other languages, according to university researcher Ammar Bouhouche, reported La Tribune of Algiers.
Egypt's higher education system is not serving the country's current needs well, and without far-reaching reform this will hamper economic and social progress, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Bank.
The Academy of Sciences of South Africa has defended academic freedom it believes is under threat from intrusive government regulations, the "apparently excessive influence" of private sector sponsorships of universities and perceived limitations on free speech within universities. The academy represents the country's outstanding scientists.
Nigeria has introduced a single entrance examination for all for all tertiary institutions - universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. It is the first time the government has sought to harmonise entry examinations and it will take place next Saturday with 6.4 million registered candidates.
Kenya's National Council for Science and Technology and the British Council are to work together to expand the Africa Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme. The aim is to provide opportunities for businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of higher education knowledge, technology and expertise.
Lecturers at the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe's main science university, have gone on strike over unpaid allowances. Meanwhile, the state has renewed its crackdown on students resulting in countrywide arrests, court appearances, abductions, disciplinary hearings and expulsions over demonstrations staged on 29 March in protest against continuing deterioration of higher education standards.
At 3.4%, HIV prevalence among students at South African universities is well below the national average, suggesting that prevention strategies aimed at the sector are finding their mark. But there's no cause for complacency, according to interpretations of a study by the Higher Education HIV and Aids Programme (HEAids) on HIV prevalence and knowledge, attitude, behaviour and practice. There are still signs of risky behaviour on campuses.
In the past decade the University of Cape Town, UCT, has established itself as Africa's top university. High global rankings, large numbers of international students and significant growth in research output has helped cement its reputation. Now, said Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price, "we're positioning ourselves as a significant global player". The aim is to make Cape Town an interface between academic activities in Africa and the rest of the world.
The new director of the Africa Institute for Mathematical Sciences, distinguished mathematician Professor Barry Green, took office this month. He intends to ensure that the institute keeps promoting maths and science while building capacity for African initiatives in education, research and technology.
Africans have a rich cultural heritage and a wealth of traditional knowledge on topics ranging from agriculture and forestry to medicines and medical practices, all of which could make valuable contributions to modern science - but only if science can be translated into local languages.
South Africa was ranked the first in Africa and 51st globally in the 2010 Global Innovation Index released last month by the international business school INSEAD and the Confederation of Indian Industry. The country finished 26th for investment in education and 29th for the quality of scientific research institutions.
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa will launch a new prize to promote excellence in educational research in African universities and research institutes and networks, and among the African diaspora working and studying throughout the world, reported Sudonline of Dakar, Senegal.