Also: Academic freedom remains under threat in Africa – Report
10 November 2022  Issue No: 382
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOAfrican governments, business enterprises and universities have a shared responsibility to raise the research capacities and productivity of universities and countries. The research ecosystem depends on the availability of adequate funding, motivated researchers, robust facilities, dynamic collaborations, strong intellectual property policies, effective dissemination and translation of research results into products and policy, and for social impact.
Attacks on scholars, students, academic freedom and tertiary education institutions remain pervasive in Africa, with a high frequency of incidents undermining higher education in countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria, according to Scholars at Risk, a network that provides sanctuary to threatened academics around the world and campaigns for freedom to think.
Universities in Africa must strive to produce about 100,000 PhDs in the next 10 years to yield the research the continent needs for accelerated development, to create jobs and opportunities for the continent’s fast-growing population, as well as respond to climate change, disease, food security and political instability challenges.
Africa News
PHOTOAfrican linguists have voiced support, with a need for caution, over a proposal adopted by several African countries to give their national languages the same status as official ‘colonial’ languages such as French and English. Mali, for instance, wants to introduce Bamanankan, or Bambara, alongside French.
Climate Change
PHOTOAs the Sharm el-Sheikh climate summit, COP27, unfolds, the higher education community is grasping the opportunity to put some of their demands on the conference table in Egypt, including calls to strengthen educational and research capacities of universities and research centres to tackle the impact of climate change.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOThis commentary has been triggered by a question raised in the University World News article on why the tradition of imparting critical thinking is waning in Africa. The totality of ‘environments’ within which universities operate and to which they aspire to contribute as well as the political, sociocultural and economical contexts need to be interrogated along with historical precedents.
Africa Student View
PHOTOChild marriage is one of the most widespread forms of violence against children in Zimbabwe. A total of 5% of girls are married before the age of 15, according to UNICEF. Dr Julieth Gudo, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town, who was pressured into child marriage at the age of 13, fought back.
Africa Features
PHOTOOngoing conversations among citizens in Nigeria are spotlighting the need for researchers to get involved in shaping the country’s nascent democracy. Those making the calls maintain that researchers have long left the country’s democracy to be toyed with by the political elite, who often seek what they can gain rather than what they can offer.
Top Africa Stories from Last Week
PHOTOPersistent complaints over low state funding levels of higher education in Africa could become a thing of the past if universities became more proactive in responding to the socio-economic needs of society. If universities meet the people’s needs, funding will follow, a webinar of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture heard.
Global Commentary
PHOTOThis year’s COP is seen as the one that will bring concrete actions and commitments on emission reductions and on financing of losses resulting from climate change borne by the Global South. Whatever the outcomes, the scientific community has a key role to play.
World Blog
PHOTOThe COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the dangers of healthcare nationalism, which limits us in improving the health of all people and prevents us from acting together as a global medical community committed to working towards Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and well-being.
Global Features
PHOTOWith a 6-3 conservative-liberal majority, the nine-member bench of the Supreme Court of the United States looks set to strike down the use of race-conscious admission policies that have been guiding and facilitating the admission of black and under-represented minorities into the country’s universities for decades.
World Round-up
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