The first physical meeting of the ACCESS Project consortium partners was successfully held in Leipzig from 07 – 10 February 2022. Despite the hurdles of COVID-19, the meeting brought together over 30 participants, comprising of board members, coordinators, doctoral students, and other key personnel involved in implementing the project. The blended format (in-person and digital) in which the event was organised ensured that partner members and participants who could not travel to Leipzig for various reasons participated in the event online.
The 4-day event discussed the strategies and activities of the project aimed at improving the employability of African graduates with the scope of the project. Over the past two years, ACCESS has developed activities and strategies within its four main pillars to contribute sustainable solutions to the challenge of increasing graduate unemployment in Africa.
The opening day of the event was held at the historic building of the Alte Handelsbörse (Old Stock Exchange) in Leipzig, with about 37 in-person and 10 virtual participants, including Mr. Chiheb Chaouch, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Tunisian Embassy in Germany and a representative of the Nigerian Ambassador in Germany. The sessions for the other event days were held in the collaborating departments of Leipzig University on the project, to wit, the Sports Science Faculty, Geography Department and African Studies Institute and the Small Enterprises Promotion and Training Competence Center at the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences.
Key outcomes include elaborated activities and steps for 2 Summer Schools in 2022 in Benin and Ghana, the progress of the Employability research and ACCESS doctoral programme, roll-out interventions for building the capacities of lecturers for teaching and coaching students, career enhancement activities, university-business linkages, and entrepreneurship promotion at higher educational institutions.
The next major event for ACCESS is the Summer School to be hosted by IRGIB African University in Cotonou, Benin, from 28 March till 1 April 2022. Read more about it here.