FIRST CONFERENCE ON

LEVERAGING THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INTEGRATION

Pan African University, Yaoundé, Cameroon – 27th and 28th of January 2025

ANNOUNCEMENT and CALL FOR PAPERS

The African Trade Agreements (ATAs) are characterized by diverse objectives, including promoting education, science, and technology. Despite such provisions, higher education integration remains low, mirroring the challenges faced in intra-regional trade. The adoption in 2018 of the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aimed to address these issues and advance continental integration. However, the connection between economic and higher education integration in Africa remains largely unexplored. To bridge this gap and coinciding with the African Union’s 2024 Year of Education, the EU-funded HAQAA3 Initiative is launching Biennial Conferences to facilitate discussions among African scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. These conferences will serve as a platform for sharing insights and innovative ideas to strengthen the role of African trade agreements in promoting higher education integration. Organized by OBREAL, the Association of African Universities (AAU), and other partners, the conferences intend to engage key stakeholders including the African Union Commission, the European Commission, and the AfCFTA Secretariat.

DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

As part of this conference, HAQAA3 is announcing a call for papers designed to spark discussions and shape the conference’s main themes.

The papers will explore a range of legal and policy issues where regional trade agreements intersect with the integration of higher education, with a particular focus on Africa. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

1. General Topics

    • The interaction between international trade and education in particular in the area of services, movement of workers and self-employed persons, and right of establishment.
    • The role of AfCFTA and other Regional Trade Agreements in advancing higher education integration, in particular as it concerns academic and professional mobility.
    • The role of higher education and higher education integration in fostering the achievement of the AfCFTA’s objectives.

2. Specific Topics

    • Harmonization, Quality Assurance and Accreditation across borders in Africa: the interaction between regional and continental initiatives.
    • Role of Regional and Continental Trade Agreements in facilitating collaborative research and innovation initiatives.
    • Innovation as a key sector in connecting higher education and economic development.
    • Best practices and case studies on the interplay between economic and higher education integration.

3. The role of Higher Education in building the necessary inter- and trans-disciplinary skills

 

How does the call work?

This call for papers will unfold in three phases:

Target audience

This call for papers is aimed at scholars and practitioners, and we look forward to receiving innovative contributions that will enrich discussions and deepen our understanding of the crucial nexus between regional trade agreements and higher education integration, especially in the context of Africa.