The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Universities in Africa and African Ministries of Education hosted an International Summit of Colleges, Universities, and Ministers of Education at the margins of the 74th United Nations General Assembly. The inaugural summit aimed to explore the opportunities offered by technological advances to harness the joint experience and knowledge of the African Diaspora; this, to advance quality education for all persons of African descent towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 - “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
UNDP's Resident Representative, Dr Ayodele Odusola moderated the event which heard from the likes of Honourable Jackson Mthembu, South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency. The Minister also witnessed the signing of an MOU between UNDP and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Primarily Black Institutions (HBCUs/PBIs) as a concrete step towards achieving improved education outcomes in Africa. Amongst some of the actions, the MOU will facilitate the continuation of this summit into subsequent years; organize platforms for the exchange of development of best practices; develop and operationalize distance learning progammes between African and African Diaspora institutes of higher learning; jointly develop staff and student exchanges and internships between African and African Diaspora institutes of higher education; jointly mobilize resources for pertinent development exchanges; and share research and data on areas of common interest to the global African diaspora towards a collective achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The key note address was delivered by Ms Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa.