Improving the Relevance of University Training to Labour Market Demands in Africa

"This policy brief aims to inform policymakers, universities and the productive sector in African countries best policy practices and reforms that would strengthen the relationship between universities and the productive sector, while re-echoing the relevance of universities to the productive sector and for national socio-economic development. Universities in Africa have a crucial role to play in producing knowledge, innovations and graduates to meet the demands of the productive sector and to address emerging socio-economic challenges facing Africa. However, efforts to establish universities as dominant knowledge and innovation hubs for the productive sector is being hampered by a number of critical factors, which include: low investment in research and development (R&D); lack of centers for excellence, and innovations in African universities; lack of internship and mentorship opportunities for students in the productive sector; and poor networking between the productive sector and the knowledge sector. It is very clear that, establishing strong linkages between universities and the productive sector has enormous mutual benefits and holds the potential to propel capacity development as well as social economic development. There is a growing need for African universities to understand the dynamics and need of the evolving Africa society and adjust it curricula, research priorities and operations to meet the need of the productive sector in the 21st century."