Conference report Rheinbach, November 14-15, 2014

  |   Community Square, Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Research   |   1 Comment

The interest in the 3rd „Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa“ conference was high. With more than 200 registered participants, numerous discussions were held in Rheinbach near Bonn, Germany circulating around new concepts for German-African Cooperation.

Akada Network was there to network and connect with other organizations and initiatives to promote research and education in Africa. We were pleased to learn how many different projects have evolved in recent years and look positively to the near future.

In our view, research outcomes – if put into economic frameworks – are the driving force behind a sustainable development both nationally as well as globally.



Prof. Dr. Hartmut Ihne, Opening remarks

Prof. Ihne is the President at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.


[…] Done properly, universities-business cooperation could become a key in our efforts to overcome poverty and to improve the living conditions for the majority of the people in the global south (and – in the end – in the global north as well).

There are some encouraging examples for the fruitfulness of this type of cooperation. Our successful showcase cooperation project is one of it. I still remember when we in 2011, together with professor Bode and a delegation from our university, met the State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation, to convince him that development cooperation could do much more than in the past in supporting entrepreneurship in Africa, based on an innovative concept of universitiesbusiness cooperation. […] – Read the whole speech at (PDF)


From the Conference description

Experience gained from successful developing and emerging economies in Africa, Asia and Latin America shows that a vibrant sector of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and a fertile ground for entrepreneurial minds play an important role in economic growth, poverty eradication, and the generation of a middle class. “Traditional” development aid and development cooperation can thus be supplemented, and eventually replaced, by numerous co-operations between businesses in high-income countries and low-income countries.

Universities can provide invaluable input to creating and sustaining entrepreneurship and SME development. Partnerships with universities in industrialised countries, including their respective business networks, can accelerate the transformation towards employability-orientation of African institutions. Further, practice-oriented research and education partnerships will help universities from the industrialised world to understand the growing relevance of Africa as a market, and help include this insight into their teaching.



We have reported live from our Twitter account @AkadaNetwork


  • Dr. Hans-Joachim Preuß – Managing Director at GIZ “Enterprises can play a crucial role as another means for development”
  • Conference Keynote: The Solar2World Programme for Africa supports care projects with solar panels –
  • Marc Zander, CEO at XCOMAfrica: “Within Africa, there are various opportunities for business resulting in chances for entrepreneurs” & Global successful business strategies need to be adopted to the African market (compare // )
  • DEG Director Stategic Projects Dr Thomas Koch and Fabienne Fischer present the winners of the Business Plan Award
  • Antecedents of Sustainable Entrepreneurial Behavior in Tanzania – a case study
  • Longstanding question in the entrepreneurial field: Can you teach someone to be self-starting?
  • Some recommendations to overcome entrepreneurial challenges in Africa by Francis Boachie-Mensah, UCC, Ghana
  • Entrepreneurial University cases from Ethiopia & Rwanda by Huub Mudde
  • Towards University-Industry linkage: Experience from the University of Iringa, Tanzania by Dr Hosea Mpogole
  • Panel Discussion on Investment and Education
  • “Let us invest in Education, Scholarships and R&D and watch the markets grow”
  • Building a Bridge – Competency Based Learning and Teaching: a collaborative German-Ghanaian student project


You can view further conference impressions at

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This event was followed by the conference “Think Smart – Go Global: German-African Cooperation in academia and businesson 15 November 2014 at the same venue, organized by the Partnership with Africa Foundation.

Researchers, lecturers, and practitioners from Germany and African countries alike discussed, developed and optimized promising ideas for closer cooperation between academia and business in Germany and on the African continent.


  • How can we make intercontinental collaboration of academia ready for action?
  • Prof Dr Rosemond Boohene, UCC Ghana: “We now have more then 40 business partners in our university project.”
  • Audience question: How can we build a technically fit Africa?
  • Lively discussions ongoing around university-business links in Africa
  • Second panel discussion: “Out of the Ivory Tower, into the company”


Many thanks to the organizers for the efforts and some great new connections and insights.


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  • | Aug 19, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    You are so cool! I do not think I have read through anything like this before.

    So nice to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this issue.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one
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