About the Conference

The General Conferences of the Association of African Universities is normally a five-day event centered around Higher Education in Africa. In June 2017, the AAU will be holding its 14th General Conference in Accra, Ghana.

Join us to learn about the State of Higher Education in Africa as well as celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Association under the theme:
"AAU@50: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects for Sustainable Development in Africa".

The venue is La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

What Happens at AAU General Conferences

The General Conference of the AAU is the highest decision making body of the Association. This is an assembly of representatives of all member institutions, and is organized in two parts as follows:

1.The Business Session:
The Business Session assesses the activities implemented over the previous four years against a background of the Core Programme of Activities and a budget approved at the previous Conference;
-approves the plan of activities and budget for the following strategic plan period; and
-elects the governing board members of the Association including the President and three (3) Vice - Presidents, from among the Vice - Chancellors, Presidents and Rectors of its member institutions
2.The Scientific/Thematic Session:
Every General Conference also hosts the Conference of Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents (COREVIP) of African Universities which deliberates on themes of relevance to higher education in Africa. The COREVIP is an assembly of the chief executive officers of member institutions or their representatives, which meets every two years with the purpose of:
-Examining collectively, themes identified as common concerns and priorities for the development of higher education in Africa;
-Making recommendations primarily to AAU member Institutions, as well as to the Governing Board and to the Secretariat; and
-Acting as a mid-term conference and taking stock of the implementation of the decisions of the General Conference and recommending corrective measures, if any.

Event Venue Year Theme Sub-Themes
COREVIP Kigali, Rwanda June 2 – 5, 2015 Internationalisation of Higher Education in Africa a. Harmonisation and Quality
b. Mobility and Transferability of Credits
c. New Modes of Teaching and Learning
d. Curriculum Relevance and Employability
e. Emerging Centres of Excellence in Africa
13th General Conference Libreville, Gabon May 28 – 31, 2013 Transforming African Higher Education for Graduate Employability and Socio-Economic Development a. The Connect between Higher Education and the Productive Sector
b. Graduate Employability
c. The Role of the Organised Private Sector
d. Socio-political Environment and Employability
e. Funding Issues
COREVIP Stellenbosch, South Africa May 30 - June 3, 2011 Strengthening the Space of Higher Education in Africa a. Creating an African Higher Education Space
b. The Role of ICT
c. Regional Centres of Excellence
d. Promoting Open and Distance Learning
12th General Conference Abuja, Nigeria May 4 – 9, 2009 Sustainable Development in Africa: The Role of Higher Education a. Teaching and Learning
b. Research and Development
c. Engaging the Community
d. Greening the Campus
COREVIP Tripoli, Libya 2007 The African Brain Drain: Managing the Drain, Working with the Diaspora a. The African Development Agenda and the Brain Drain: History, Factors and Prospects
b. The African Diaspora: Contributions to the Revival of African Knowledge Systems, Science and Technology
11th General Conference Cape Town, South Africa February 21 - 25, 2005 Transnational Provision and the Future of Higher Education in Africa a. Autonomy of national education systems
b. Access limitations and private sector involvement in higher education in Africa
c. Assuring Quality in transnational higher education
COREVIP Mauritius March 17 - 21, 2003 The Role of African Higher Education Institutions in the Building of the African Union a. The Challenge of Poverty Reduction in Africa: The Way Forward from the Higher Education Perspective
b. African Higher Education Institutions Responding to the HIV/AIDS Pandemic
c. Peace and Conflict Resolution in Africa: The Continuing Challenge to African Higher Education Institutions
10th General Conference ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire February 5 - 9, 2001 African Universities and the Challenge of Knowledge Creation and Application in the New Century a. African Higher Education Management and Leadership in the Information Age
b. Quality of Training and Research: Towards a Dynamic Process of Curricular Reform and Innovations in African Tertiary Institutions
c. Information and Communications Technology: Building Capacity in African Universities
d. Women in African Tertiary Institutions: Equity Empowerment and Advancement
COREVIP Arusha, Tanzania February 1 - 4, 1999 Revitalizing Universities in Africa: Strategy for the 21st Century a. Regional Cooperation in Graduate Training and Research
b. Information and Communication Technology
c. Access, Quality and Resource Management
9th General Conference Lusaka, Zambia 13-17 January, 1997 The African University in a Rapidly Changing Global Environment: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century a. Leadership and Management
b. Instability and Social Crises
c. Quality of Training and Research
d. The Role of the University in the Education Sector

Our History

The Association of African Universities (AAU), whose headquarters is in Accra, Ghana, was founded in Rabat, Morocco on November 12, 1967, following recommendations made at an earlier conference organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Antananarivo, Madagascar in September 1962 for the formation of such an apex organization.
The Antananarivo recommendations were taken up by a preparatory Committee of the heads of African institutions of higher education, which met in Khartoum in September 1963 and drafted the founding constitution of the Association. With an initial membership of 34, the Association now has over 340 members, cutting across the language and other divides.

The Association has provided a platform for research, reflection, consultation, debates, co-operation and collaboration on issues pertaining to higher education. It has provided a range of services to its members and served African higher education in a variety of ways. It has established and increased its role in the five sub-regions of Africa and is thus able, at reasonable notice, to assemble teams of experts in relevant fields from the sub-regions.

The Association possesses a unique capacity to convene higher education institutional leaders and policy-makers from all parts of the continent and on key issues related to African higher education and development, as demonstrated in the WTO/GATS workshop held in Ghana in April 2004. In addition, the Association provides leadership in the identification of emerging issues and support for debating them and facilitating appropriate follow-up action by its members, partners and other stakeholders.