The Association of African Universities (AAU), whose headquarters is in Accra, Ghana, was founded in Rabat, Morocco on November 12, 1967, following recommendations made at an earlier conference organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Antananarivo, Madagascar in September 1962 for the formation of such an apex organization.
The Antananarivo recommendations were taken up by a preparatory Committee of the heads of African institutions of higher education, which met in Khartoum in September 1963 and drafted the founding constitution of the association. With an initial membership of 34, the association now has over 340 members from 46 countries, cutting across language and other divides.
The association has provided a platform for research, reflection, consultation, debates, co-operation and collaboration on issues pertaining to higher education. It has provided a range of services to its members and served African higher education in a variety of ways. It has established and increased its role in the five sub-regions of Africa and is thus able, at reasonable notice, to assemble teams of experts in relevant fields from the sub-regions.
The association possesses a unique capacity to convene higher education institutional leaders and policy-makers from all parts of the continent and on key issues related to African higher education and development, as demonstrated in the WTO/GATS workshop held in Ghana in April 2004. In addition, the association provides leadership in the identification of emerging issues and support for debating them and facilitating appropriate follow-up action by its members, partners and other stakeholders.
- Livsey, Timothy. "Imagining an Imperial Modernity: Universities and the West African Roots of Colonial Development." Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 44.6 (2016): 952-975.