In Paris on October the 23rd, a meeting took place of five Lasallian Centres of Higher Education, one from Africa and four from the Region of Europe and the Mediterranean. Also represented was the Institute’s Service of Solidarity and Development from the Generalate.
The purpose of the meeting was to explore ways for collaboration between the university centres of the two Regions, in terms of their specialisms and strategies in the area of higher education. Africa is a continent of the future, in spite of all the poverty to be found there and which is now confronting Europe directly in the form of the migrants who are flocking to its shores. Africa is a young continent, rich in youth and eager for knowledge and to acquire scientific and technological skills in order to respond to the need for development in every domain: economic, agricultural, medical, technological and educational.
Currently, only 5% of young Africans have access to higher education. The Lasallian world cannot remain indifferent to this situation. That is why initiatives for training future leadership teams have been started in Kenya, Ethiopia, the Cameroon, the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Lasallian higher education is more established in Europe, and so it is able to share its skills and its experience.
During the meeting, ways forward were opened up in institutional and operational terms. The future will tell how fruitful they will be, and that will depend on the commitment of the participants at the meeting and of the institutions which they represented.