THE AFRICAN UNION LEADERSHIP ACADEMY EXPLORES COLLABORATION WITH AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES ON THE CERTIFICATION AND CO-DELIVERY OF ITS PROGRAMS
The African Union Leadership Academy (AULA) has reached out to some African universities to explore prospective collaborations on the curriculum development, certification and.co-delivery of its programs. The beginning of this reach-out was, separately, with the School of Public Management and Administration [SPMA] (University of Pretoria, South Africa) and with the Centre of Learning for Evaluation and Research (CLEAR), which is housed within the School of Governance (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa).
Introducing the AULA idea in both meetings, Dr Muna Abdalla (AULA Manager) shared the AULA vision providing capacity building on leadership, programme management within the public sector and knowledge-sharing in strategic ways that are aligned to the aspirations and priorities of the African Union – as espoused within the agenda 2063. She elaborated this lofty mandate of AULA by highlighting the significance of the Academy’s collaboration with learning institutions that already have a pedigree in developing and delivering related programs. In receiving the AULA team, Prof. Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu (Head, SPMA) shared the interface that can be furthered on what SPMA already does within the continent and what AULA envisages to do particularly on the public sector transformation in Africa. Both AULA and SPMA teams underscored the overdue need for transformational public sector leadership considering that global trends on financial crisis, demographic and political developments, have mapped the kind of future government and its concomitant leadership qualities necessary to elevate Africa and its citizens. As these global trends point towards less resources but more expectations of citizens from elected governments, there has been call for a different mindsets or a new generation of leaders who can no longer continue to lead government business as usual but need to embody and inculcate customer-oriented, agile, transparent and results-based ethos in public sector management.
On a separate meeting with the CLEAR team, AULA shared its plans to provide program evaluation capacity building in partnership with the AUC’s Directorate of Strategic Policy Planning, Monitoring Evaluation and Resource Mobilization (SPPMERM). This significant intervention was unpacked to highlight its different target groups: such technical monitoring and evaluation experts and focal person responsible for facilitating timeous reporting on AUC programme implementation; clusters responsible for the Results Framework of the Agenda 2063; and building skills for evidence-based policy-making practices within the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and member states. Candice Morkel (CLEAR Coordinator) and Caitlin Mapitsa (Senior M&E Technical Specialist, CLEAR) shared the experience of the 6-year old CLEAR initiative in strengthening evaluation practice in Africa and evidence-based policy making with parliamentarians in Africa through a bi-lingual (English and French) training. In partnership with regional institutions, universities and evaluation associations in the continent, CLEAR has become an engine room for evaluation training in Africa.
At the end of these meetings, discrete areas of collaborations were identified within the areas of, but not limited to, curriculum development, delivery on leadership development and programme evaluation. AULA also shared to the same institutions that the AU Organs has experienced experts on thematic areas within its province of competence within the continent – such as peace and security; infrastructure development; governance and democracy; gender and women development, among others. It was then proposed these experts can be seconded as facilitators of specific modules within the learning programmes of SPMA and CLEAR in Africa. This will aid in showcasing the success stories of the African Union Organs to wider audiences.