HBCUs and African University Leaders unite in HBCU Africa Education Consortium against Disparities
Updated: Jul 29
As at the press time today, leaders of 14 HBCUs, African Universities and social impact organizations including the National College Resources Foundation have resolved to be founding partners in an HBCU Africa Education Consortium - an initiative of African Diaspora Nation
The HBCU Africa Homecoming which was held virtually by African Diaspora Nation ended on Saturday, July 25th with a historic Global Black Education Charter launching the HBCU Africa Education Consortium. The consortium will serve as the foundation for a bridge and guiding light for a global African Renaissance that is measurable along the dimensions of the UN Sustainable Development goals
This year’s summit was held under the theme: “Architecting the Post Covid-19 Global Education Order; Reducing Disparities - the Role of HBCUs and African Higher Education Stakeholders. The Summit attracted 1272 people from across Africa and the African diaspora as well as ally organizations.
President Roslyn Clark Artis delivered a rousing opening keynote address which took the over 1200 people gathered for the event on a collective vision journey; the chat section of the virtual event lit up as she painted the vision of a new collaborative order, the brain child of African and African descent collaborators. She declared that the status quo for people of color in America - as regards social and economic justice- is unacceptable and that people of color must build a bridge and own the process that will help unleash a new order that is truly liberating to the human spirit. Artis expressed an interest in cultural exchange between african institutions and institutions of color in the United States. She ended her address by echoing a resolve to build the HBCU Africa relationship student by student and brick by brick.
Earlier in the program the grand-daughter of the father of Pan-Africanism Edward Wilmot Blyden, Dr. Nemata Blyden, Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University inspired the 1200-member audience with germane insights from her family’s legacy in education as well as the history of Africa and HBCUs. Ending with a quote from her great grandfather, Blyden stated “ the African must advance by methods of his own, he must possess a power distinct from that of the European; it has been proven that he knows how to take advantage of European culture and that he can be benefited by it, this proof was perhaps necessary but it is not sufficient, we must show that we are able to go alone to carve out our own way..we must not suppose that the Anglo-Saxon methods are final..that there is nothing for us to find out for our guidance and that we have nothing to teach the world..we look too much to foreigners and are dazzled almost to blindness by their exploits so as to fancy that they have exhausted the possibilities of humanity”.
In his address, Mr. Kwabena Boateng, Founder/President of African Diaspora Nation, convener of the HBCU Africa Homecoming Initiative shared that the desired outcome for the event was the launch of an HBCU Africa Education Consortium - a citadel of education, multi-cultural engagement/exchange, innovation and creativity where the best minds from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), universities across Africa and industry work together to promote innovation to build a better future. He shared that African Diaspora Nation is employing a global borderless virtual nation building framework to facilitate the partnerships, work flow processes, organizational capability development and the communication strategy required to build the ecosystem that delivers a new global black education order that liberates the human spirit.
Addressing the summit, Prof Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary General of the African Research Universities Alliance - an alliance of 16 of Africa’s flagship research universities - emphatically stated that collaboration between HBCUs and African Universities should be natural given our common roots and aspirations. He shared that ARUA CoEs are intended to be focal points for aggregating world-class researchers from member universities to undertake collaborative research in priority thematic areas while providing opportunities for graduate students from the region and elsewhere to work with the researchers. The CoE is therefore an assembly point for good and committed researchers and students seeking to do cutting-edge work. He invited the HBCU Africa Education consortium to participate in the upcoming conference of the African Research Universities Alliance.
During the Presidential Roundtable skillfully navigated by Dr. Keshia Abraham, Dr. Fred Mcbagonluri, a former U.S. Black Engineer of the Year and President of Academic City College, Ghana challenged the presidents gathered to have the will to see the collaboration through because there is enormous value that will accrue to the constituents they serve if they do. He mentioned sharing faculty resources in the STEAM fields by leveraging virtual constructs.
Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State University -a pioneer in HBCU Africa engagement and a collaborator with African Diaspora Nation announced Morgan State University’s plans to exponentially ramp up it’s presence in Africa beyond Ghana and Nigeria in the next couple of years.
Taking her turn in the spotlight, Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University and International President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority shared that social and economic justice for people of color is not just an american issue; it is a global issue and it is sinful to only have a selfish view of the work. She also shared that it should be an imperative to scale up the learning spaces which demystify Africa for HBCU students. She was especially proud of TSUs work teaching students and teachers in Malawi how to code.
Dr. Ronald Johnson, a member of the White House Advisory Board on HBCUs shared the need for HBCUs and African institutions reimagine themselves and see themselves as truly global institutions going forward. He also emphasized the need to tap into global resources to advance the objectives of the consortium.
At the end of meetings in the Presidential Lounge, ADN President announced that he had enlisted the following to launch and expand the influence of the HBCU Africa Education Consortium:
Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary General of the African Research Universities Alliance and Fmr. Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana
Dr. Ronald Johnson, Member of White House Advisory Board on HBCUs and Fmr. President of Clark Atlanta University
Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College and Global Sustainability Chair for HBCU Africa Homecoming
Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State University and Honorary Chair, HBCU Africa Homecoming 2020
Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University and Honorary Chair HBCU Africa Homecoming 2020
Dr. Kevin Rome, President, Fisk University
Dr. Fred Macbagonluri, President of Academic City College
Dr. Keshia Abraham, CEO, The Abraham Consulting Agency
Dr. Samuel Donkor, President of All Nations University
Dr. Koryoe Anim Wright, Dean of International Programs and Collaboration, University of Professional Studies, Ghana
Dr. Debrenna Agbenyiga, Chief Higher Education Consultant, Agbenyiga Global Education.
The African Diaspora Nation team will host a workshop to this end in the next 2 weeks.
The consortium will undertake the following:
Create vital bridges/linkages between HBCU stakeholders and African/African Diaspora education stakeholders
Inspire deliberate collaboration in Science, Technology, Innovation and Research consistent with the centers of excellence in the African Research Universities Alliance
Facilitate faculty and student exchanges - Virtual and In-person
Create HBCU and Africa Educational and Economic Ecosystem
Promote STEAM, Innovation and Entrepreneurship giving access to consortium resources and harmonizing study abroad and offering discounted study abroad rates to members
Erect an HBCU Africa Innovation Center/City - a physical anchor for a network of physical and virtual assets positioned in strategic regional locations across Africa and the African diaspora to advance the objectives of the consortium
Mobilize global resources and capital into education sectors in Africa and the African Diaspora
HBCU Africa Sports & Film, Art , Dance and Cultural Legacy Programs
HBCU Africa Media , Publishing & Communication Platforms
HBCU Africa Agribusiness Platform
HBCU Africa talent mapping, natural resource mapping & intellectual property patent register.
HBCU Africa Oceans & Space Program.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion included the Ambassador of Ghana to the United States, Dr Baffour Adjei Barwuah, Prof. Laban Ayiro, Vice Chancellor of Daystar University, Kenya, Mr. Keith Clinkscales, CEO of KTC Ventures and Fmr. CEO of Revolt TV, Dr. Darla K Deardoff, President of the Association of International Education Administrators as well as Deans, International Officers and Social Impact organizations.