The Association of Commonwealth Universities

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Sunday 16 January

Welcome Reception at the Alisa Hotel, Accra

To include welcoming remarks from:

  • British Council:  Moses Anibaba, British Council, Ghana
  • Association of African Universities:  Professor Jegede Olugbemiro, Secretary General
  • Association of Commonwealth Universities:  Dr John Kirkland, Deputy Secretary General
Monday 17 January
09.00 - 11.00

Opening Session: 'The critical importance of making the most of Africa's graduates'
Moderator:  Professor Simon McGrath, University of Nottingham

The session will commence with introductory remarks from:

  • Dr John Kirkland, Deputy Secretary General, on behalf of the Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • Alan Curry, Regional Director, British Council, Sub-Saharan Africa


Speakers will include a representative from each of the three key stakeholders:

  • Government - What are governments’ expectations of Africa’s graduates?  What policies are in place to ensure that the HE sector is meeting the needs of the country in terms of graduate employability and economic development?
    Speakers:  Dr Joseph Annan, Deputy Minister of Education responsible for Higher Education;
    Dr Kaba Urgessa, State Minister, Ministry of Education, Ethiopia
  • Business - Is the HE sector meeting the needs and expectations of the business/commercial/industrial sector employers?  If not, why not and what should be done?
    Speaker: Mr Salathiel Amegavie, CEO, Ghana Chamber of Commerce
11.00 – 11.30
Coffee break
11.30 – 12.30
Plenary Session:   ‘The critical Importance of knowing whether the best use is being made of Africa’s graduates’

This session will look at the strategic value, for planning purposes, of capturing, surveying and tracking employment data relating to higher education alumni  -  not only immediately upon their graduation but also, and perhaps more importantly, in longitudinal studies.

Moderator:  Juliet Amoah, British Council, Ghana

Speaker:  Dr Michael Gregory, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Planning and Quality, University of the South Pacific.  Link to presentation.

It will also provide the opportunity to report on an Africa-wide survey, undertaken by the British Council in Sub-Saharan Africa, to ascertain the student perspective of the relevance of their higher education to their employment prospects.            

Speaker:    Marketa Krahulikova, Higher Education Manager for Sub Saharan Africa, British Council.   Link to presentation.

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch break

13.30 – 15.00


Parallel break-out sessions will provide the opportunity to be inspired by and explore some existing education and knowledge transfer partnerships and  to hear about other projects which contribute to ‘Making higher education relevant for African endogenous development’. 

Session A:  'Making higher education relevant for African endogenous development' 
Dr Richard Tabulawa, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Botswana

Speakers:  Dr Patrick Awuah, Founder and President, Ashesi University College, Ghana
Professor Rob Paton, Centre for Public Leadership & Social Enterprise, The Open University Business School, UK:  When do academics change their practices?  Lessons from the ABLE-Ghana Learning Community.   Link to presentation.
Dr Lehana Thabane, Associate Professor/Associate Chair, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Canada:  'Reforming the curriculum to enhance the relevance of the training of young African professionals'    Link to presentation.

Session B:  Education Partnerships in Africa (EPA)
Moderator:  Marketa Krahulokova, HE Regional Manager, British Council

Presentation 1:   Learning to support employability:  experiences of South African and English FE(T) colleges (South Africa)
Speakers:  Simon McGrath, Professor of International Education and Development, University of Nottingham and Editor-in Chief, International Journal of Educational Development.  Link to presentation.
Seamus Needham, Researcher, Further Education and Training Institute, University of the Western Cape

Presentation 2The Work, Learn, Earn Programme (WELP) for developing entrepreneurship in organic agriculture among graduates in Nigeria (Nigeria)
Speakers:  Professor Isaac Aiyelaagbe, Department of Horticulture, College of Plant Sciences, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.  Link to text.
Dr Liz Trenchard, Senior Research Assistant, Coventry University.  Link to presentation (without photos).

Session C:  Africa Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (AKTP)
Moderator:  David Pardoe, AKTP Programme Manager, British Council

Presentation 1:  Ghana  -  Transfer of ceramic body and glaze production technologies as a potential for employment generation
Speaker:  Daniel Fynn

Presentation 2:  Rwanda  -  Optimisation of engineering design and production process in MANUMETAL (furniture manufacturing company) through Knowledge Transfer
Speaker:  Jean Nepo Kabayiza, AKTP Associate.  

15.00 – 15.30
Tea break

15.30 – 17.00

Parallel break-out sessions:  these will provide further opportunities to explore existing partnerships from around the globe; consider what employers really want and how to make they they get it; and address some of the keys to developing a spirit of entrepreneurship.  

N.B.   Although he was prevented at the last moment from joining the conference in Accra, Bob Gilworth, Director of the Careers Centre at the University of Leeds, has kindly made the text of his presentation available herewith:  'Harnessing the Spirit of Entrepreneurship'.

Session A:   Moderator:  Robin Landman, Chief Executive, Network of Black Professionals

Presentation 1:
Speaker:  Koffi Williams, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Purplepeeple, Ghana:  'Squaring the Circle of Excellence'

Presentation 2:
Speaker:  Cathy Sims, Acting Director, Career Development Programme, Centre for Higher Education Development, University of Cape Town and founding member of the South African Graduate Recruiters Association (SAGRA).  Link to presentation.   Link to SAGRA Graduate Recruitmen Survey 2010.

Presentation 3:
VentureNavigator:  an online service supporting aspiring entrepreneurs and businesses in Nigeria
Speakers:  Phineas Wenlock, Project Manager (VentureNavigator), Research and Enterprise Office, University of Essex, UK   Link to presentation.
Ese Egerega, Deputy General Manager, AfriHUB

Session B:  Education Partnerships in Africa (EPA)
Moderator:  Marketa Krahulokova, HE Regional Manager, British Council

Presentation 1:  United Kingdom/South Africa G8 Partnership  -  Leaders Who Make a Difference (South Africa)
Speakers: Ian Millard, Principal/CEO, City of Wolverhampton College of Further Education
Hellen Ntlatleng, Principal/CEO, Ekurhuleni West College for Further Education & Training

Presentation 2:  Hackney Lagos Partnership for Modernising Vocational and Employability Education (Nigeria)
Speakers:  Ian Ashman, Principal, Hackney Community College, UK
Temitope Olusanya, Special Adviser Vocational Education, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, Nigeria.   Link to presentation.

Session C:  Africa Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (AKTP)
Moderator:  David Pardoe, AKTP Programme Manager, British Council

Presentation 1Premier Screening of AKTP Documentary Film - "Innovation through Collaboration"

Presentation 2Kenya  -  'Private Public Partnership (PPP):  The Journey, Successes and Challenges'
Speaker:  Teresa Wafullah, AKTP Associate, MEA Limited.  Link to presentation.

Presentation 3:  Uganda  -  Development of new processes and lasting solutions for high energy costs and proper disposal of waste water at Mpanga Growers Tea Factory Limited
Speaker:  Jacob Etunganan, AKTP Associate, British Council.   Link to presentation.

19.30     Dinner at the Residence of the British High Commissioner
Tuesday 18 January

0900 – 10.30



Plenary Session:   ‘The Critical Role and Value of International Partnerships’
Three speakers will provide different perspectives on their experiences of international partnerships with continents/ countries as diverse as Africa, Canada, China and the UK.
Moderator:  Professor Naa A Adamafio, Dean, International Programmes, University of Ghana


10.30 – 11.00
Coffee break

11.00 – 12.30


Plenary Session:  ‘Partnerships in Action’
This session will concentrate specifically on partnerships in and with African institutions  - from the perspective, for instance, of the African Development Bank.

Moderator:  Tony Mitchell, Lead Consultant AKTP, British Council


  • Myles Wickstead, Visiting Professor at the Open University, will present the 'Good Practices in Educational Partnerships Guilde' for UK-African partnerships
  • Olu Akanmu, Managing Executive, Bank PHB Nigeria, will present on 'Improving Employability of African Graduates  -  the role of Universities, Businesses and Students'.   Link to presentation. 
  • Frank Boahene, Education Advisor, African Development Bank, will present AfDB's involvement and activities in higher education and TVET in Africa
12.30 – 13.30
Lunch break
13.30 – 15.00

Parallel break-out sessions will provide the opportunity to consider further the theme of partnerships in action, and there will also be a parallel workshop session on the practicalities of developing an alumni database.

Session A:  Liverpool John Moores University's WoW® Initiative and its incorporation into educational programmes in Ghana
Moderator:  Dorothy Garland, Director, Professional Networks, ACU

Dr Alison Cotgrave, Deputy Director, School of the Built Environment, LJMU
Mike Riley, Director, School of the Built Environment, LJMU

Session B:  The Practicalities of Implementing Institutional Research into the Employment Destination of Graduating Students
Presenter:  Dr Michael Gregory, Pro-Vice-Chancello
r Planning and Quality, University of the South Pacific

Session C:  Education Partnerships in Africa (EPA)
Moderator:  Marketa Krahulikova, HE Regional Manager, British Council

Presentation 1:  The International Entrepreneur:  Design for Africa (South Africa)
Speakers:  Shaun Borstrock, Head of Design and Business Development, Associate Head of the School of the Creative Arts, Faculty for Science, Technology and the Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire
Bryan Ramkilawan, Lecturer in Fashion, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Chair of the Education Sub-Committee, Cape Town Fashion Council

Presentation 2:  Mobile Innovation and Enterprise (Uganda)
Speakers:  Andy Dearden, Professor of Interactive Systems Design, Communication & Computing Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Idris A Rai, Associate Professor Communication Networks and Deputy Dean Academic Affairs, Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, Department of Networks, Makerere University

Session D:  Africa Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (AKTP)
Moderator: David Pardoe, AKTP Programme Manager, British Council

Presentation 1:  Nigeria  -  The "Airtime Switch" and its proposed impact on the associate, the company and the telecommunications sector in Nigeria
Speaker:  Femi Oyedepo

Presentation 2:  South Africa  -  Social Enterprise and Knowledge Partnerships  -  supporting innovation in disability in South Africa
Speaker:  Guillaume du Toit

15.00 - 15.30 Tea break
15.30 – 17.00 Closing Plenary Panel Discussion and wrap-up.  Link to Accra Declaration.