The Guild supports Rectors’ Conferences’ push to strengthen the research capacities of African universities

National Rectors’ Conferences, in cooperation with the European University Association, unite in calling for a European long-term commitment to strengthen the research excellence of African universities through ‘Clusters of Excellence’. This research capacity is essential, they argue, for the African Union’s Agenda 2063 to be realised. 

Representing over 1,100 universities in Europe, 20 National Rectors’ Conferences and the European University Association are urging the European Union and Member States to make substantial investments in the research capacities of African universities a key component of the new strategic partnership between the African Union and the EU.

Highlighting the importance of moving from time-limited project-based funding to long-term commitment, the signatories propose establishing African Clusters of Research Excellence in selected scientific fields of common concern and in close partnership with European universities. The call builds on the joint initiative of The Guild and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), which last year asked for new levels of ambitions in the EU and amongst European nations to investing in Clusters of Excellence in Africa’s universities.

The Guild strongly welcomes the new impetus for the initiative, which, by strengthening the key components of the African R&I and higher education capacity, can enable delivering the strategic priorities identified by the AU and the EU.

Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General of The Guild, said: “It is clear that the call to invest in African research universities in a sustainable way is gathering momentum across Europe. The EU and national leaders must take on board the urgency of investing in African universities. This is critical for Africa to achieve the African Union’s goal of becoming a knowledge society by 2063. The statement by European rectors’ conferences clearly shows that Europe’s universities are willing to collaborate with their African partners for the long-term, on an equitable basis.”

23 June 2021


Download the full statement from the National Rectors’ Conferences


Related content:

Confronting our Common Challenges: a new Approach to Strengthening Africa’s Research, Innovation and Higher Education Capacity – Concept note | 9 July 2020

Recommendations for Strengthening African Research Universities - Position Paper | 18 February 2020

Published June 23, 2021 10:19 AM - Last modified June 23, 2021 11:16 AM