Background and History

The African Students and Alumni Forum (ASAF) was created in 2019 by the European Commission in partnership with the African Union Commission.

The creation of ASAF was inspired by the Abidjan Declaration after the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit of 9 - 11 October 2017 in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). 

ASAF is supported by the Pan‑African Programme of the European Union which aims i.a. to improve and modernise higher education in Africa. This programme also supports actions such as the Tuning Africa initiative for the harmonisation of higher education curricula and the HAQAA initiative for the Harmonisation of African higher education Quality Assurance and Accreditation.

ASAF’s milestones include four regional workshops organised in 2019 across the African continent, where ASAF members and relevant stakeholders, as well as the European Union and the African Union, discussed ASAF's vision, mission and identity together.

The workshops revealed a keen aspiration to a stronger continental integration supported by cooperation between the different higher education systems in Africa. They also highlighted the crucial need to modernise higher education systems and increase their quality standards, given the role of higher education in driving economic and social development and the significant mismatches between the skills acquired by young people and those needed for personal and working life in many African countries.