The African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN) Forum took place at the Serena Hotel in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, from 28th to 30th November 2023. Organized by the African Quality Assurance Network and hosted by the Tanzania Commission for Universities, this important event attracted over 100 participants from 18 different countries across Africa and beyond.
Distinguished attendees at the forum included CEOs and representatives of quality assurance agencies, members of quality assurance networks, representatives of quality assurance regional organizations, stakeholders from higher education institutions, lecturers, and representatives of the flagship initiative, the Harmonization of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA 3) Initiative.
The Minister of Education, Science, and Technology of Tanzania, Prof. Adolf Mkenda graced the opening ceremony. The forum encompassed a series of technical sessions, which featured keynote presentations and engaging panel discussions. Under the theme “Potentials of Quality Assurance in Advancing Excellence in Higher Education in the Digital Era,” this year’s forum served as a dynamic platform for in-depth discussions and exchange of experiences on pivotal issues, such as online teaching and learning, quality assurance in doctoral education, and research methodologies.
In her address, Prof. Maria Luisa Chicote, President of AfriQAN, warmly welcomed participants, emphasizing the forum’s significance as a collective commitment to fostering academic excellence. She underscored its role in bridging institutional divides, transcending geographical boundaries, and uniting teams under a shared goal—the relentless pursuit of unparalleled quality in higher education.
Prof. Frederick Armah, the Director of Research and Programmes, who represented the Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities, acknowledged the widespread institutional digital transformation across the continent. He underscored the differences in the pace and extent of readiness, integration, and transformation in the various subregions of Africa. Prof. Armah said that higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies are making deliberate efforts to transform their procedures, frameworks, and systems to ensure that their engagements and initiatives resonate with the digital aspirations of 21st century HEIs. He urged AfriQAN to lead transformative initiatives, positioning itself to address the diverse needs of stakeholders within the teaching, research, and innovation ecosystem.
Expressing gratitude, Prof. Adolf Mkenda, Tanzania’s Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, commended the collaborative efforts of the Tanzania Commission for Universities and AfriQAN in coordinating the event. He emphasized the significance of such gatherings and encouraged collaboration within and across African countries to share resources and expertise. While acknowledging progress, he challenged participants to maintain educational quality amidst rising student numbers and expanding universities. The Minister called on the Association of African Universities and other stakeholders to facilitate collaborative initiatives that harness the rich potential within the African continent.
AfriQAN and the forum participants expressed their appreciation to Tanzania for its commitment to higher education and lauded the country for its exceptional hospitality throughout the event. The forum concluded on a note of optimism, setting the stage for continued advancements in African higher education through collaboration, innovation, and digital transformation.
Access photos from the event via this link : https://www.flickr.com/photos/aau-africa/albums/72177720313311208
Written By: Mrs. Marie Eglantine Juru, Project Officer, Higher Education, Association of African Universities
Reviewed By: Mrs. Felicia Kuagbedzi, Snr. Communications and Publications Officer, AAU