Inadequate manpower to service African manufacturing industries as exemplified by one engineer per 10,000 inhabitants contributes to her infrastructural challenge. Manufacturing solutions to Africa’s infrastructural challenges do not emanate from the local manufacturing industries due to shortage of qualified teaching/research faculty who are supposed to train the undergraduates joining the industry work force. Hence, many manufacturing engineering graduates are ill-equipped to develop viable low cost and environmentally sustainable manufacturing solutions to African infrastructural challenges due to lack of modern equipment for training. Education for laser-based manufacturing (ELbM) initiative addresses these challenges by combining industrial and academic resources; from four African higher educational institutions (HEIs), laser enabled manufacturing research group from the Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR/NLC/LEM) group, African laser centre (ALC), Retecon (Trumpf), South Africa (associated partners) with technical support from University of Bologna, Italy; to train labour market-relevant post-graduates (33 Masters + 10 PhDs) and deliver research supervision in laser-based manufacturing (LbM) processes. During this mobility period, ELbM with active support from Retecon (Trumpf), South Africa by offering of educational discount and training materials would mobilise BIUST, JKUAT and FUPRE to commit resources into setting up LM facilities with a view to engaging ELbM graduates for innovations and hands-on research so as to reduce brain drain. It is also anticipated that a higher education/industry ELbM network linking the African Universities, Italian technical partner and the African associated partners will be formed while ELbM becomes a model for sustainable regional higher education co-operation in LM research and developments. 

About Intra-Africa

(2014-2020) Supporting academic mobility in Africa.

From 2016-2020, the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme supported student and staff mobility in Africa. The overall objective of the programme was to enhance human capital development in Africa, while strengthening intra-African cooperation in higher education as called for by the Agenda 2063.

The programme’s specific objectives were to:

  • increase the employability of students,
  • improve the quality of higher education in Africa and its relevance to Africa’s development vision,
  • strengthen the modernisation and internationalisation of African higher education institutions,
  • promote the development of an African higher education and research space.
  • Mobility of students and staff between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) aimed to help them acquire stronger knowledge and skills and contribute to improving the quality and relevance of teaching and learning through exchanges of practices.

The scheme also aimed to contribute to strengthening the modernisation and internationalisation strategies of HEIs through the establishment of mechanisms to manage mobility flows. This sought in turn to increase HEIs’ capacity to forge partnerships with other institutions and undertake joint collaboration and research.

Furthermore, the programme aimed to bring together HEIs from different regions, requiring the setting up of adequate mechanisms to organise the exchanges, such as arrangements to compare curricula and recognise study periods abroad. The programme therefore aimed to enhance harmonisation and standardisation of higher education in line with the African Union Strategy for Harmonisation of Higher Education.

The Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme was set up under the Pan-African Programme (Development Cooperation Instrument) and was based on the experience of the Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme.

The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) was responsible for managing the programme, in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and under the supervision of the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA) of the European Commission.