ASAF Strategic Development Meeting June 2020
On 27 and 28 June 2020, 16 committed ASAF members joined the virtual ASAF Strategic Development Meeting to discuss ASAF’s further development.
On 27 and 28 June 2020, me and 15 other members were honoured to participate in the ASAF Strategic Development Meeting 2020. The meeting would normally have taken place in Dakar - Senegal. Sadly, COVID-19 had a different opinion. In other words, we had to do it virtually and from distance. Therefore, ASAF members from 10 different African countries met online and shared their ideas with the others actively.
To start, Mrs. Fiorella Perotto, who represents the European Commission, outlined the overall goal for ASAF, still being a very young forum (in operation since 2019): to make ASAF known in more African countries and to give more young mobility students in Africa a voice.
In general, the virtual meeting had as its pillars four important components: ASAF’s vision, mission statement, development strategy and membership. We were able to build on the valuable work of the ASAF members, who already elaborated on these topics during the regional workshops in Accra, Rabat, Pretoria and Addis late last year. In order to move forward at a steady pace, we divided ourselves into small groups of 3 or 4 members to discuss the above-mentioned issues during several break-out sessions. Regarding ASAF’s vision, the four groups showed many overlaps in their results: promoting scholarships and quality education, being a collaborative forum to exchange knowledge and foster skills development, as well as ensuring the sustainable development of the African continent among other things. However, a team of four present ASAF members volunteered to finalise the ASAF vision until end of July 2020 and which will be updated on the ASAF website. The same procedure was conducted to gather ideas for ASAF’s mission statement which included the following suggestions: creating a pan-African platform for exchange and capacity building, ensuring employability, and promoting quality education. A group to finalise the mission statement as well committed itself to do so until end of July, the mission statement will be published on the ASAF website.
Moreover, we roughly mapped out a three-year strategy and an ASAF work plan in small groups. Some of the points mentioned were to grow membership, organise (local) projects and capacity building seminars, establish a light governance within ASAF, establish contacts with policy makers, as well as to develop and increase marketing and branding to make ASAF a well-known forum across Africa. Two groups to define a precise strategy and a work plan for the upcoming years were build and will start working once ASAF’s vision and mission statements are finalised.
All in all, the great diversity (the participants come from different countries and cultural backgrounds), led to the flourishing of enriching ideas. In the end, we were able to put together a whole collection of ideas that will enable ASAF, in the near future, to better target its mission, vision, strategy and membership. And as a kind of crowning glory of our meeting, we were honoured to present and divulge our ideas in front of Mrs. Fiorella Perotto who appreciated the outcome of this fruitful meeting!
Azilal, Morocco, 15 July 2020
Nabil Laakoun and the Service Provider