Call for African universities to focus on science

Technically-trained graduates vital for development, says thinktank chief

April 12, 2016
African nurse drawing blood

African universities have been urged to increase their recruitment on to science and engineering courses, amid warnings that they remain too focused on the social sciences.

Emmanuel Nnadozie, executive secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation, warned that the continent could miss the development goals set under the African Union’s Agenda 2063 initiative if the gap in enrolment was not closed.

“Our strategy for Agenda 2063 says that Africa has a gap of 4.3 million engineers alone, not to mention the other categories of expertise in critical technical skills that are needed and… if you have this kind of gap we will never be able to industrialise,” Professor Nnadozie said.

“At the same time, African universities’ enrolment has about 90 per cent of students registering in social sciences, law and humanities and that makes it hard to implement strategies if you don’t have those critical expertise skills that will support the private investments and industries.”

Professor Nnadozie’s remarks, made at the Third Africa Think Tanks Summit in Victoria Falls, were quoted by Zimbabwean newspaper The Standard.

He added that skills were a key barrier to progress on the continent. “The issue of moving beyond designing appropriate policies to making sure that we yield expected results from policies is something that this continent has struggled with for quite some time to accomplish,” he was reported to have said.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Research Nurse UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
Fully-funded Studentships In Social Sciences NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY (NTU)
Fully-funded Studentships In Science and Technology NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY (NTU)

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote

Portrait montage of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

From Donald Trump to Brexit, John Morgan considers the challenges of a new international political climate