A structured dialogue between students and alumni, including representatives from the Erasmus Mundus Alumni Association, the "Tuning Africa" initiative and the Intra-Africa Mobility programme, took place in Abidjan on 16 and 17 October 2017. Students, higher education alumni, academics, associations and professionals discussed which structures should be set up and reinforced to increase student participation in education institutions, improve the relevance of learning programmes for enhanced employability, and stimulate the innovative capacities of African higher education systems.
The seminar allowed the participants to debate about the development of processes to make learning programmes more relevant for their school-to-work transition and highlighting the crucial role of students, alumni and young people for their participation in these processes. The acquisition of transferable skills, including entrepreneurship and team work are highly needed for the development of innovative knowledge-based economies and participative democracies.
The seminar builds on the momentum initiated by the EU Joint Communication on a renewed impetus for the Africa-EU Partnership and the preparations of the AU-EU Summit. The participants of the students and alumni dialogue consider themselves as stakeholders in the development of initiatives aiming to support the enhancement of knowledge and skills in the framework of the Africa-EU Partnership and in their final statements call upon Heads of State to support this process. The event was organised and financed by the European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC).