St. Mary’s University, partnering with the Association of African Universities, the International Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA), University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, PROPHE, Carnegie and MasterCard Foundation, held the 20th International Conference on Private Higher Education in Africa, the 3rd Higher Education Forum for Africa, Asia and Latin America (HEFAALA) Symposium, and Masterclass Workshops from 25 to 29 April 2022 at Inter Luxury Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


The theme of the International Conference was “Embracing New Realities and Paradigms: Africa's Higher Education Response”. Fifteen papers drawn from across the globe were presented and discussed under three sub-themes: Re-envisioning Teaching and Learning; Responsive Policy and Strategy; and Research, Innovation and Collaboration. 

The HEFAALA Symposium ran under the theme: “Academic Collaboration in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Post-COVID World”. The Symposium discussed the following major issues: “Emerging trends and typologies and practices in academic collaboration, impact and significance of academic collaboration, academic collaboration, mobility and the role of the intellectual diaspora, and challenges, opportunities and prospects of academic collaboration in and between Africa, Asia, and Latin America”. 


The Masterclass Workshops had a major theme: “Building Leadership of Young Academics: The Power of Academic Collaboration”. Topics which dwelt on “Co-Constructing Knowledge: The Power of Collaboration, Knocking at the Gates of Knowledge Keepers: The Significance of Collaboration, and Overcoming Marginality through Academic Collaboration were covered at the Masterclass workshops. 

The events took place in a hybrid form – virtually and in-person.  


Welcoming statements were made by Wondwosen Tamrat (PhD, Associate Professor), Founder and President of St. Mary’s University, Prof. Bakri Osman Saeed, Board President of the Association of African Universities, Mr. Emmanuel Chigozie, African Union Commission, Dr Samuel Kifle, State Minister, Ministry of Education, Ethiopia, respectively.


In his opening remarks, Wondwosen Tamrat (PhD, Associate Professor), thanked H.E Dr Samuel Kifle, State Minister for Higher Education, the Federal Ministry of Education, for being able to grace the occasion despite his extremely busy schedule, and recognized the presence, among the audience, of former State Minister H.E. Prof Afework Kassu for finding the time to moderate the keynote speeches of the events. He also indicated that the various sub-themes and papers presented by eminent scholars from different parts of the world would underlie the need for addressing the multi-faceted challenges of higher education in the region and beyond thus making it a key tool for poverty reduction and economic development, as often stated in global policy discourses. Dr. Wondwosen also pledged to make the proceedings of the conference available both in digital and print forms, as has always been the case.


In the back-to-back events, 16 presentations and 4 panel sessions were held, where prominent keynote speakers and paper presenters drawn from diverse countries aired their thoughts and shared their experiences with participants.


The conference and the symposium were brought to an end by words of thanks by Ato Tedla Haile, Executive Vice President of St. Mary’s University.