Globalisation and Higher Education in Africa: The Case of the African University

Victor N. Muzvidziwa

Abstract


It is generally accepted that higher education must play a critical role in the development of the African people. The paper strongly argues that for the African University to remain useful to the development of African peoples it has to draw its inspiration and strength from within, it must be rooted in Africa and at the same time borrow, adapt and innovate. There is a need to privilege indigenous African knowledge systems. The African University must remain focused on its developmental mission and strive to serve the needs of the people, while at the same time strengthening its scholarly capacity through the conduct of relevant research. Although there is a need to acknowledge the many positive developments that have taken shape in African Universities there is need to point out the shortcomings as well and that the African University still falls far short of people’s expectations. In many instances as the paper argues the African University is externally driven and is not driven by African values and lacks a commitment to serve Africa. Globalisation has contributed to the stunted growth of African societies and will continue to do so for as long as Africa and Africans are not able to define their destiny. The paper challenges African universities to root themselves within Africa rather than remain Western transplants advancing Western interests and privileging Western ideas. The African scholar should and can be enabler and contribute towards the search for meaningful solutions to African people’s everyday troubles. The African University should be part of the search for home grown solutions to such problems as endemic poverty, unemployment and social inequality. The African University must remain focused on its mission of knowledge production in the context of Africa, driven by an African agenda.

References



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