Month: March 2016

Inaugural Social Media Seminar for African Universities held in Accra Ghana

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The Association of African Universities Secretariat hosted the inaugural Social Media Seminar for African Universities in Accra Ghana from 21st to 23rd March 2016. The seminar was facilitated by the staff of the AAU Communication Services Department in collaboration with David Girling a lecturer in social media and international development at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

grpA total of 14 participants from Ghana and Zimbabwe attended the seminar – representing 31% of the total applicants. Thirty applicants failed to attend – possibly due to funding limitations. The 14 participants came from the University of Cape Coast, University of Development Studies, University of Professional Studies Accra, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (Ghana), Midlands State University (Zimbabwe).

The main goal of the Seminar was to support the Communications stratDirectors, Public Relations Directors, International Liaison Directors and International Programs Directors to develop Social Media Policies and Strategies to guide their institutions. Social Media has evolved to become a very important tool and platform that African Universities must leverage. The participants were also taken through the basics of Social Media use, case studies, best practices and key concepts. The seminar facilitators used project-based / case study teaching / learning methods to give the participants hands on skills.

The highlights of the Seminar included:

  1. Realization that universities face similar challenges related to the governance of the website institutionally and the roles of the ICT Units versus the roles of the Public Relations Offices
  2. It emerged that Social Media was NOT a mass communication tool. But is a Many to Many communication tool
  3. Participants developed draft Social Media Strategies that they presented on the last day of the seminar
  4. Participants anticipate the following challenges in implementing Social Media Policies and strategies in their universities: staffing issues, how to advocate for buy-in, budget challenges, and inadequate bandwidth.
  5. It was emphasized that Social Media platforms must be consistently branded
  6. Participants were advised to hire someone with a passion for social media – else implementation could fail

The feedback from the participants was largely very positive. Please use the hash tag #SocialMedia4Uni to filter some of the workshop tweets to learn more about the Accra

The Social Media Event was covered by the Ghana News Agency – See this link for more information:

The other AAU-organised Social Media Seminars are scheduled for 2016 as listed as below:

  1. Swaziland – June 2016
  2. Uganda – September 2016
  3. Morocco – December 2016

These AAU Social Media Seminars have been inspired by the work that we have previously done with the CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation). CTA has facilitated training of 4453 people in 44 countries of which 42% were women and 48% were youth (18-35 years of age) in Web 2.0 Skills. Read more about the CTA Web 2.0 For Dev Initiative.

AAU sincerely thanks the following friends for their input into the curriculum and their contributions towards marketing of the planned Social Media events: Rambaldi Giacomo (@iapad), Johnson Opigo (@johnopigo), David Girling (@socialmedia4D), Beth Kanter (@kanter), Zawadi Nyong’o (@ZawadiNyongo) and Kellie Koo (@kel_koo). We are also grateful to CTA for contributing flyers, magazines and a Web2ForDev banner for the event that was held in Accra Ghana.

Some of Africa’s Oldest Universities – do you know others?

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Below is a list of some of Africa’s oldest Universities. Do you know other equally old African universities? Please respond by posting a comment to this post.

  1. University of Timbuktu, Mali (982CE)
  2. University of Al-Karaouine, in Fes, Morocco (859AD)
  3. Al-Azhar University, Egypt (972AD)
  4. Fourah Bay College – University of Sierra Leone (1827)
  5. University of Cape Town (1829)
  6. University of Liberia (1862)
  7. Cuttington University (as Cuttington College by Episcopal Church of the United States) 1889
  8. Stellenbosch University, South Africa (1903)
  9. Cairo University Egypt (1908)
  10. University of Algiers, Algeria (1909)
  11. University of Fort Hare, South Africa (1916)
  12. American University in Cairo (1919)
  13. Makerere University in Uganda (1922)
  14. University of Ghana (1948)
  15. University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1948)
  16. University of Zimbabwe (1952)
  17. Agostinho Neto University Angola (as Estudos Gerais Universitários de Angola) 1962
  18. Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique (as Estudos Gerais Universitários de Moçambique) 1962

Small Grants Call for Applications: Issued March 2016

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Call for Applications: Small Grants for Post Graduate Theses & Dissertations  (Issued March 2016 ) Deadline: 30th June, 2016


grants imageThe AAU is pleased to announce the 2016 session of its Small Grants for Theses and Dissertations Programme. In line with the Association’s aim of promoting the core functions of higher education institutions, the Small Grants Programme aims to facilitate timely completion of post graduate research.


  • Applicants should be post graduate students enrolled in AAU member institutions that are in good standing on payment of their annual subscriptions. Post graduate students who are lecturers in AAU member institutions, and female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Research topics should fall within any of the following broad themes:
    • Agriculture and Food Security
    • Conflict, Peace and Security
    • Environment and Climate
    • Health
    • Higher Education


  • Small grants research budgets are limited to USD3,500 for PhD students and USD2,000 for Masters students
  • Small grants budgets may not include indirect costs (e.g. accommodation, field trips outside the country where the research is being conducted,

Application Procedure:

Please note that applications submitted via email will not be considered.

  • Applicants will be required to register and login afterwards, so they can access their applications and make necessary revisions until submission before the deadline
  • The form has been divided into four (4) sections. Applicants are required to save each section SEPARATELY by clicking on the “Apply Change” button at the bottom of the section.
  • Information relating to Personal Data, Project Description and Project Details will also be required
  • Under Project Details, applicants will have to paste the components of their proposals (research hypothesis, literature review, methodology, expected results, work plan and time table) in the appropriate spaces.
  • Applicants will also be required to attach a letter of institutional support to the online application.

Review Process and Criteria:

  • The review of the applications takes approximately 2 months after the deadline date.
  • Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
    • Relevance (the extent to which the proposed research aligns with the selected theme and addresses African development issues);
    • Innovation (the extent to which the proposed activity suggests and explores creative and original approaches); and
    • Feasibility (whether the project is feasible in terms of the proposed methodology, work plan and budget)
  • Award of grants will be based on merit – i.e. on the strength of the application
  • Applicants will be notified on the status of their applications two months after the expiration of the deadline


FRENCH Version

APPEL À CANDIDATURE: Programme De  Petites Subventions Pour Les Mémoires Et Les Thèses (Publié le 30 mars, 2016), Date limite : 30 juin, 2016.

L’AUA à le plaisir d’annoncer la session 2016 de son programme de petites subventions pour les Mémoires Et Les Thèses de doctorats. En conformité avec l’objectif de l’AUA de promouvoir les fonctions fondamentales des institutions d’enseignement supérieurs, le programme de petites subventions pour les Mémoires et Thèses vise à faciliter la réalisation de thèses de doctorats à  temps opportuns.


Les candidats doivent être inscris dans un programme d’études supérieurs au niveau doctoral dans une institution membre de l‘AUA à jour sur le paiement de ses souscriptions annuelles. Les étudiants du troisième cycle qui sont professeurs dans nos institutions membres et les femmes candidats particulièrement, sont encouragés à postuler.  Les thèmes de recherche devraient entrer parmi les grands thèmes suivants:

  1. Agriculture et Sécurité Alimentaire
  2. Conflit, paix et sécurité
  3. Environnement et Climat
  4. Santé
  5. Enseignement Supérieur


  1. Les budgets de petites subventions sont limités à 3500 $ pour les étudiants au doctorat, et de 2000 $ pour les étudiants en Maitrise.
  2. Les budgets de petites subventions ne couvrent pas les frais indirects (ex. hébergement, les excursions scolaires en dehors du pays où la recherche s’est déroulées).

 Procédure de candidature:

  1. Les candidatures doivent être soumises en ligne via ce lien:
  2. Les candidatures envoyées uniquement par courrier électronique ne seront pas considérées.
  3. Les candidats auront besoin d’un nom d’utilisateur et d’un mot de passe valides afin d’ouvrir un compte qui leur donnera accès à leur formulaire de demande de candidature afin d’effectuer d’éventuelles corrections avant la date limite.
  4. Le formulaire a été divisé en quatre sections. Les candidats doivent sauvegarder chaque section séparément en cliquant le bouton “Apply Change” au bas de la section.
  5. L’information liée aux données personnelles, description du projet, détails de projet seront requises.
  6. A la section ‘Détails de projet’, les candidats doivent coller les éléments de leurs propositions (hypothèse de recherche, analyse bibliographique, méthodologie, résultats prévus, programme de travail, et horaire) dans les espaces appropriés.
  7. Les candidats doivent aussi joindre une lettre de soutien institutionnel à la candidature en ligne.

 Processus de révision et critères:

  1. La révision des candidatures prend environ 2 mois après le délai.
  2. La révision des candidatures sera basée sur les critères suivants:
  3. Pertinence (la mesure dans laquelle le projet de recherche est en conformité avec le thème sélectionné et comment il aborde les questions de développement en Afrique)
  4. Innovation (la mesure dans laquelle le projet de recherche suggère et explore les approches créatifs et originaux)
  5. Praticabilité (s’il est réalisable en termes de la méthodologie proposée, du programme de travail et du budget)

Les subventions seront accordées en fonction du mérite. C’est-à-dire la solidité de dossier du candidat. Les candidats seront informés sur l’état de leurs demandes deux mois après l’expiration du délai.