The Pan African Planetary and Science Network (PAPSSN) recently convened the kick-off meeting for its Focus on Africa Space Science and Technology 4 Future development (FAST4Future) programme, aiming to strengthen STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in African higher education institutions.
The meeting involved active participation from consortium members representing Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Italy, and AAC Space Africa team representing Sweden consortia. The consortia expressed their willingness to promote STEM activities, and they eagerly look forward to witnessing the progress of FAST4Future and its potential to inspire the next generation of African innovators.
FAST4Future effort aims to leverage Planetary and Science Technology (PSST) to drive sustainable growth and job creation in Africa as the continent continues to make significant strides in advancing the fourth industrial revolution.
The key objectives of FAST4Future are as follows:
- Increase the accessibility of STEM education in higher education institutions throughout Africa, ensuring more students can pursue and excel in these fields.
- Modernise existing PSST programmes in alignment with industry standards and the requirements set by policymakers. This step is crucial to ensure that African higher education institutions stay current and relevant in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.
- Foster the internationalisation of higher education institutions by promoting staff mobility. This effort will facilitate knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the adoption of best practices worldwide.
- Promote the standardisation of PSST across Africa, enabling seamless mobility for students. By aligning curricula and competencies, students will have increased opportunities to study and gain practical experience at different institutions across the continent.
In addition to these objectives, FAST4Future also aims to establish a Center for Excellence, which will be closely connected to a virtual platform. This centre and platform will be crucial in promoting accessibility to resources and facilitating coordinated actions among participating institutions.
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