Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Brian Mushimba, MP, giving the keynote address during the opening of the Association of African Higher Education Financing Agencies (AAHEFA) 2019 Conference at Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia
By Birbal Boniface Musoba
The Minister of Higher Education, Honourable Dr. Brian Mushimba, MP, has stated that despite commendable milestones being attained in the provision of higher education, financing remains the single biggest challenge for most, if not all, African countries.
Dr. Mushimba said this yesterday when he gave the keynote address during the opening of the Association of African Higher Education Financing Agencies (AAHEFA) 2019 Conference at Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia.
The Conference, which is AAHEFA’s 2nd International Conference, is being organised and hosted by the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board (HELSB) from 30th September – 2nd October, 2019, under the theme, “Reinventing Higher Education for In-demand Skills.”
The international conference is a dynamic event aimed at gathering ideas and charting the way forward for improving Higher Education Financing in the African continent.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher Education, Mrs. Kayula Siame, invites the Honourable Minister to give the keynote address
Speaking during the official opening, Dr. Mushimba stated that the changing global dynamics of employment, education and skills demand, particularly so in this era of the 4th Industrial Revolution where 85% of jobs are classified as skilled, the importance of effective skills is vital and Africa must not be left behind in forging skills for industry.
“It is true that access to quality higher education is greatly constrained in many African countries including Zambia,” Dr. Mushimba said. “As populations increase, so does the demand for higher education, which in turn means Governments have to increase their financing to higher education as well.”
The Honourable Minister emphasised that due to the fact that higher education is paramount for economic development, the questions that must be raised should reflect and deliberate on how collective financing to higher education can be enhanced and sustained to meet the ever-increasing demand.
“Any well-functioning education system, particularly one that prepares its citizens for industry, needs to be anchored on a clear and sustainable financing policy as this is the only way to guarantee access to quality lifelong education and training,” Dr. Mushimba said.