The Association of African Universities (AAU) and Africa’s leading digital TV operator, StarTimes, have entered an educational partnership agreement through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The two organisations will cooperate to expand the visibility of higher education in Africa. AAU will provide educational videos for free on the StarTimes ON streaming app, enabling millions of people across the continent to improve their knowledge and skills as well as tap into the research outcomes emanating from the continent’s higher education institutions.
The AAU, established in 1967, is the apex higher education organisation in Africa and currently has a membership of 400 institutions of higher learning across all the linguistic and geographic divides of Africa. It established the AAU Television (“AAU TV”) to promote African scholarship and inter-university collaboration through information exchange and promotion of higher education-related issues.
The Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Prof. Etienne Ehouan Ehile, said that “this partnership with StarTimes comes at a convenient time when access to educational content is in high demand, as most educational activities have moved online as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 and its unprecedented outcomes. Through the AAU TV, the AAU, in its capacity as the continental apex higher education agency, will promote the quality and relevance of higher education as well as showcase and strengthen the contributions of higher education to the development of the continent. AAU is open to partnering with institutions whose core mandates align with our aspirations.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), StarTimes has launched several initiatives to support access to education for students forced to stay home. It established partnerships with local educational channels and authorities to add educational content to its platforms. It created a dedicated tab on its application offering hundreds of videos for students of all ages. And the group is planning to launch a new educational channel available for free across Africa.
StarTimes Vice-President Luis Lu said: “We are honoured to launch this partnership with the AAU. Education is crucial for individuals and communities. Through our TV and OTT platform, StarTimes has a unique way to reach millions of people in Africa. We are leveraging this platform to expand access to knowledge, and via AAU partnership, we will be able to air high-quality content made by the best African experts. This is a milestone for StarTimes and a step forward toward ensuring equal access to all levels of education.”