The British Council (BC) in Nigeria seeks partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) in hosting the upcoming “Going Global Africa 24/25 Regional Conference”, for the first time in  Abuja. This was disclosed last Wednesday in Abuja at the Media Parley organised by the British Council to discuss the programme overview of the conference scheduled for November 26th–28th, 2024, with proposed theme: “Building Sustainable and Relevant Tertiary Education Institutions and Systems in Africa”.

“Going Global” is the British Council’s annual conference for leaders of international education and reflects the interests of a truly global constituency. The conference has been designed to provide a forum to exchange ideas, debate and confront shared global issues in tertiary education in an open and inclusive format.

The 2024 conference was aimed at providing a discursive and collaborative platform that would foster cross sector engagement and learning about shared regional and global challenges in tertiary education, with target audience including Senior government officials, Vice-Chancellors, Funders of International education amongst others.

“By strengthening institutional and individual capacity , it is our hope that participants are better positioned for international opportunities, ultimately contributing to improved future outcomes for young Africans. “This year’s event we expect participation from audiences across the continent with stakeholders participation from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Mauritius, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, Egypt, Libya,” the media parley noted.

Fielding questions from the media, the Regional Director for Higher Education Programmes, Sub-Saharan Africa, British Council, Mrs. Adetomi Soyinka, underscored the collaborative nature of the event’s planning and execution, while emphasizing the extensive logistical and operational support from multiple agencies.

Mrs. Soyinka acknowledged the complexities involved in hosting such a large-scale event but expressed confidence in Nigeria’s capacity to deliver. “Nigeria is a fantastic country, and I am proud to have this film delivered here,” she said, noting that the success of the conference hinges on the support from various national and international bodies.

The conference, which had been over a year in the making was also aimed at creating a platform for learning, exchange, and collaboration. Mrs. Soyinka elaborated on the meticulous planning involved, including the establishment of a local Organizing Committee (LOC) and an operations team within the British Council. “This is not something that we just started planning to do,” she reiterated, highlighting the comprehensive operational framework designed to ensure the event’s success. She said the conference was also aimed towards addressing critical issues such as economic development and investment in Africa.

By fostering partnerships between private sector organisations and academic institutions, the event sought to drive socio-economic progress across the continent. She further outlined the conference’s objectives, explaining: “The goals are to support learning, foster collaboration, and facilitate the exchange of ideas.”

The event is expected to enhance Nigeria’s visibility on the global stage, showcasing its expertise and leadership in tertiary education development. The announcement of speakers and specific session details is anticipated by September 2024. “The British Council aims to leverage technology to expand the conference’s reach. Sessions will be live-streamed to engage a global audience, ensuring that insights and discussions extend beyond the physical confines of the event.

We are using technology to ensure broader participation and to cascade the outcomes to a wider audience,” Mrs.Soyinka noted. Looking ahead, the 2024/25 conference will introduce collaboration tools to facilitate pre-registration and thematic focus areas, ensuring that partnerships formed during the event translate into tangible outcomes. “We are being more deliberate about ensuring that collaborations lead to concrete actions,” She affirmed.

Earlier, the Director of Programmes, British Council Nigeria, Mr. Chikodi Onyemerela, spoke on the conference’s broader goals, focusing on strengthening partnerships and collaboration, assuring that the conference will drive effective educational outcomes across the continent. “This conference will achieve a strengthening of assessments and partnerships,” Mr. Onyemerela stated.

The media parley urged Nigeria to take advantage of the opportunities available in the conference to strengthen the education system for the better.