The challenges facing higher education in Africa today can be traced back to
the debilitating effects of underdevelopment, the diaspora and the brain drain
and the accellerated de-institutionalisation of science and scholarship in
Africa over the last three or more decades.
In view of the challenges facing
higher education in Africa in general and the humanities and social sciences in
particular, the conviction is growing amongst scholars in Africa that they must
play a leading role in addressing these challenges. This is not to deny the
excellent support that was offered over many years in many areas by sponsors,
donors and developers from out of Africa, nor to deny that such support will be
crucial in future. It is simply to state that Africans must strengthen their
role in determining the ways in which problems of development and
underdevelopment will be addressed. And it is to develop a confidence in
bringing Africa's expertise to Africa's problems.
The Partnership for Africa's Next Generation of Academics
(PANGeA) originated in a meeting of deans of
humanities and social science faculties in Stellenbosch in November 2006. PANGeA
started as collaborative network amongst the universities of Botswana, Dar es
Salaam, Makerere, Malawi and Stellenbosch.
In 2009, partly as result of Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Arts and
Social Sciences Flagship Project (one of the projects in SU's Overarching
Strategic Plan), new impetus was given to PANGeA. A
first meeting amongst the partners, in Uganda, resulted in the signing of a
Letter of Intent. A second meeting produced a draft multilateral memorandum of
understanding which is currently being negotiated by management on the partner
In time, PANGeA will expand to strengthen the
development of higher education in Africa by creating opportunities for
collaborative research and exchange, methodological development, full-time
doctoral study and the creation of joint doctoral degree programmes.