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Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, the Minister of Education, has called on tertiary educational institutions in Africa to develop and strengthen partnership with the industrial community.

He said such partnership would enable graduates to be well positioned in the job markets and contribute to the economic development of the continent.

Speaking at this year's African University Day in Accra on Thursday, the Minister said the job market was seeking graduates with employable skills as well as graduates who could adapt to the changing world in the global economy.

The day brought together public universities in Ghana as well as other private universities, non-higher education institutions and the corporate sector to deliberate on how best tertiary institutions in Africa can train graduates to meet demands of the job market to boost development in the continent.

Mr Tettey-Enyo suggested that partnership between the two institutions should include revision of curriculum reforms, student internship and industrial attachment.

He said government of Ghana in its efforts to meet the educational needs of the country had created an enabling environment for both public and private institutions to thrive.

Speaking on the topic, "Africa Universities: Linkages with the Productive Sector," Mr. Ishmael Yamson, Chief Executive Officer of Yamson & Associates, said if businesses and universities built effective linkage, Africa stood the chance to benefit from its investment on universities.

He said the continent continued to face challenges including high poverty rate, HIV and AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, high mortality rate, and conflict that had displaced many citizens.

Mr Yamson said that although the world had changed dramatically, the continent was yet to be fully touched by the impact of these staggering global developments.

He said the continent needed to look inward for solution such as support from the international communities where Africa must be in the frontline.

With regard to the role by universities authorities towards the partnership, Mr Yamson said tertiary institutions must create a distribution and application of new knowledge that sought to transform life.

He said research indicated that globally, African universities contributed less than one per cent of knowledge development innovation whiles the University of Cape Town was ranked first in the continent and placed 405 out of 6,000 worldwide.

Mr Yamson said tradition of African Universities focusing more on teaching, learning and research needed to change. Technological and scientific driven courses should be designed to enable graduate to fit into the job market and be creative as well as self reliant.

He said businesses needed to fund universities to embark on research to create knowledge and capabilities which would help companies operate more competitively in the global economy.

Citing an instance, he said oil palm companies in Malaysia, contributed about one per cent of their revenue to research and development on the plant of universities.

He said the initiative had enabled the country to build a huge economy behind the crop which had become a major source of income generation than commodities such as crude oil.

Mr. Yamson said businesses and universities must clearly identify their current and future needs of competencies, skills and capabilities to develop curricula and training programmes.

He said business needed to provide opportunity for the various faculties and students to undertake research into new products, ideas, processes, systems and also understand trends in business development.

The Association of African Universities (AAU) is the apex organization and forum for consultation, exchange of information and co-operation among institutions of higher education in Africa.

It represents the voice of higher education in Africa on regional and international bodies and supports networking by institutions of higher education in teaching, research, information exchange and dissemination.

Source: GNA

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