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Quality Assurance is receiving an increasing recognition of importance in Africa and the number of national quality assurance agencies in Africa has risen from 6 in 2006 to 23 in 2014. In recognition of outstanding contributions to the improvement of the quality of higher education in Africa, The Global University Network of Innovation (GUNi-Africa) and the African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN) have awarded for the first time five prizes, three of them to individuals. The European Union (EU) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the have been the only institutions that were honoured with an award.
The EU received the award in virtue of its initiatives to support to quality assurance and accreditation in Africa, within the framework of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership. In particular, the Edition April 2014). Furthermore, last year the EU and the African Union commissioned a study exploring a Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework and an advanced draft of their study was presented in Bujumbura.
The DAAD received the prize in the category ‘Support for the Improvement of Quality in Higher Education in Africa’, being distinguished for its long-standing commitment in the region with a particular view to the Quality Assurance programmes run by DAAD and the German Rector’s Conference (HRK) in Africa. Since 2005, the DAAD and the HRK, funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), cooperate with regional organisations in Eastern and since 20012 in Western Africa in the framework of the DIES program. DIES assists universities as well as national agencies in the development of quality assurance structures.