DAAD has been on the continent for almost half a century. The Regional Office in Kenya just celebrated 40 Years of Higher Education Cooperation and DAAD South Africa can look back on 35 Years of Funding for South Africans.

In 2014, DAAD and Africa took the co-operations to a new level. During a workshop session, DAAD, together with higher education experts from the continent, created the first regional strategy in DAAD history, the DAAD Africa Strategy.

It was put in place in 2015 and will guide DAAD's actions on the continent until 2020.

In 2017 we are halfway through this Strategy and DAAD will evaluate the success of the Strategy with its partners to be able to reach even higher goals until the end of the term.

Africa is increasingly perceived as a continent of opportunities. However, a crisis in African education exists: Demographic pressure is impinging on education systems that are not able to meet the current and future needs of the labour market and the challenges of national development, in terms of quality and quantity. If this situation is not quickly remedied, there is a risk that economic and political opportunities will be wasted.

DAAD therefore believes that a German initiative for cooperation with Africa should also involve a broad educational partnership.

This strategy paper, based on DAAD’s strategic areas of activity, focuses in particular on improving tertiary-level teaching and research as well as further institutional development.

Well performing higher education institutions are the key to the holistic functioning of an education system and are therefore a crucial prerequisite for the development of independent research and development capabilities.

The DAAD strategy for academic cooperation with sub-Saharan Africa is the result of an intensive dialogue process between German and African universities, DAAD alumni, university associations and political organisations in Africa.

Five areas of activity have been identified for 2015 – 2020:

  1. Qualifying university lecturers – through scholarships in Germany and at well performing universities in sub-Saharan Africa
  2. Building capacities for graduate education and research at African universities
  3. Strengthening universities as effective actors in promoting societal development, especially through degree programmes that are relevant to the current and future labour markets, applied research and consultancy, knowledge transfer to industry, promoting entrepreneurial commitment among graduates, social and legal expertise and developing a culture of dialogue in civil society
  4. Facilitating access for German universities to the African continent and disseminating knowledge about Germany in Africa – building on the existing interest in cooperation and opening up additional opportunities through appropriate funding programmes
  5. Strengthening synergies and co-operations – reinforcing the ties between German and African players, especially with Africa’s regional university associations (AAU, CAMES, IUCEA and SARUA). Both established DAAD programmes and new models of cooperation should be used to achieve these objectives. The quantitative and qualitative expansion of the programme portfolio to implement this strategy will be achieved, on the one hand, by reallocating expenditure and, on the other hand, by acquiring new German, African and international donor funds

Read more about the Africa Stategy here