Inderscience Publishers

The role of the university sector in achieving the millennium development goals in Africa

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Africa's failures in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are deeply intertwined with the broader question of how the region's university sector is complementarily evolving in accelerating progress and the larger implications for sustainable development. As a strategic sector and catalyst for development, the role of the university is very well established. Growth and development are not abstract concepts – they define the interdependencies between man and nature in time and space. From this as point of departure, we ask the question: whither the University, as an institutional stakeholder, in the contemporary discourse of Africa's development? Is the African University relevant in this discourse? What should constitute its role and how should performance be evaluated in relation to progressing the ideals of sustainable development? This paper addresses these myriads of contending expectations by evaluating country-owned and -led knowledge-for-development contexts of MDGs' realisation and suggest target areas for reform emphasis.

Keywords: millennium development goals, sustainable development, African universities, higher education, Africa, university sector

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