The RCS Division recognizes the enduring contradiction that limits opportunities for direct investment in African institutions due to a ‘lack of capacity’ even as capacity-strengthening remains a focal component of most investments across the continent. Equally, the emphasis on higher education as critical to Africa’s development has been matched with the harsh reality that African universities and scholars contribute very little to the global knowledge economy.
How to fill the gaps in research capacity and higher education across the continent is an enduring question that the Center intends to engage with in the new strategic period. Our interrogation will broaden our understanding of the impact and value of existing research capacity initiatives and what works to make research and higher education systems sustainable in Africa. We anticipate that this knowledge will enable us to make more strategic and high-value decisions with respect to our own programs going forward, while cascading that learning to higher education institutions around the continent.