Partnerships Offer Sustainable Solutions to Development Issues at U.S.-Africa Higher Education Initiative Partner's Meeting 

March 1, 2010 
Contact: Higher Education for Development
(202) 243-7680

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Higher Education for Development (HED), in collaboration with the Africa-U.S Higher Education Initiative, hosted the second Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative Planning Grants Partners Meeting under the theme, Higher Education Capacity Building through Institutional Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa. The meeting was held February 25-26, 2010 at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U).

Approximately 120 participants attended, including representatives from 13 African and U.S. partnerships established through the initiative planning grants. Other key participants included representatives of USAID and African embassies, as well as interested stakeholders such as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Emerging Capital Partners,and the World Bank.

USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade Alexandria Panehal spoke to partnership directors about the importance of establishing baseline data that will demonstrate over time development impact, not only within higher education institutions, but for the constituents the institutions serve. She said, “Often USAID measures inputs and outputs related to development assistance, but we welcome the contributions this diverse audience offers to identify long-term development impact indicators that are relevant and contribute towards social and economic progress within communities, nations and regions.”  During this meeting, the 13 partnerships presented their initial strategic plans for long-term collaboration and received feedback from one another, as well as from stakeholders and donors interested in African higher education development. Partners developed strategic plans in critical areas to address national and regional development priorities throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are committed to fostering partner collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and ideas to support higher education and development needs across sub-Saharan Africa. I see great potential for success among these African-led, broad-based higher education partnerships and I am eager to continue this effort,” said HED Executive Director Tully Cornick. HED managed the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative Planning Grants competition.

The 13 partnerships present at the meeting are listed below. These now bring the total number of partnerships formed through this initiative to 33, as the first 20 were announced in March 2009 and met at a similar conference in August 2009 in Accra, Ghana.

Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative Planning Grants
African Higher Education Institution U.S. Higher Education Institution


Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia University of California, Los Angeles
Bayero University, Nigeria Ohio University
Cuttington University, Liberia Southern University System
International Institute for Water & Environmental Engineering, Burkina Faso Tuskegee University
Kenyatta University, Kenya Syracuse University
Kigali Health Institute, Rwanda Emory University
Makerere University, Uganda University of Wisconsin, Madison
Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rhodes University, South Africa University of Florida
University for Development Studies, Ghana Florida A&M University
University of Cape Town, South Africa University of Cincinnati
University of Ghana Brown University
University of Liberia Indiana University
HED managed the competition and planning grants which grew out of the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative (, a collaborative effort between a number of higher education associations and other organizations, led by A۰P۰L۰U. View the complete list of 33 partnerships online at

Host Organizations


United States Agency for International Development
The American people, through the United States Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. For more information, visit

Higher Education for Development
Higher Education for Development (HED) works closely with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is founded by the nation’s six presidential higher education associations to support the involvement of higher education in development issues worldwide.

HED supports its mission primarily by managing innovative partnerships funded by USAID that link U.S. colleges or universities with institutions of higher learning in developing nations. HED also publishes a variety of reports that highlight international higher education partnership impacts.

HED’s leadership includes a governing board made up of the deputies of each of the six presidential higher education associations and an advisory board representing a broad cross-section of higher education leadership across the United States. HED is based in Washington, D.C. and has a program staff of experienced development specialists.

Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative/ A۰P۰L۰U
The Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative was established in July 2007 to advocate for increased U.S. engagement in African higher education capacity development, with the main purpose of increasing teaching, problem solving and administrative capacity in African institutions. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) spearheaded the development of this initiative and will continue to provide resources and leadership. The American Council on Education is providing important administrative and financial support. Also engaged in the undertaking are: the American Association of Community Colleges; the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; the Association of African Universities; the Association of American Universities; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Forum for Agricultural Research; Higher Education for Development; the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa; and, the United States Agency for International Development.