Roundtable Discussion: United States- African University Partnerships

Wednesday, February 19 (This event is now full) 
3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (*Reception to follow)
United States Department of State


The United States wants to greatly expand partnerships between U.S. and African universities to strengthen Africa’s educational institutions and enhance their role as instruments of national development.  Such cooperation will also promote the western model of academic freedom, which is under increasing threat across the world. The African diplomatic corps in Washington is keenly interested in building stronger university-to-university ties and eager to create links with U.S. higher education administrators.

As a follow-up to the 2020 AIEA Annual Conference in Washington, DC the State Department will host an invitation session on Wednesday, February 19 for AIEA member universities’ senior international officers (SIOs); members of the African diplomatic corps; and representatives from the Bureau of African Affairs, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, USAID, and other federal agencies. 

A Senior State Department official will open the event, after which Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy will chair a roundtable discussion. As its main objective, the discussion will share information among U.S universities, African diplomats, and the U.S. Government to develop a joint, strategic approach that will:

  1. Promote U.S.-Africa faculty and student exchanges including developing dual degree programs that have Africans complete their program in their home country.
  2. Encourage joint research, especially in agriculture, given that Africa’s population will double by 2050.
  3. Conduct training on all aspects of university administration.
  4. Explore other areas of cooperation, including public-private partnerships.

Participants will: 

  • Share success stories and best practices:  
    -What disciplines are best-suited for partnership?  
    -What models work best, and how are they initiated and sustained?
  • Identify obstacles to partnership:  
    -What can we address constructively, and what will we need to work around?
  • Generate ideas for future action:
    -What further resources are needed?  
    -What are reasonable goals?
  • Identify members from each of the interested parties to form a working group for more detailed discussions.