Futures Studies for the southern African region: ‘from Africa’ not ‘on Africa’

Fox, R.C. and Rowntree, Kate and Kaskinen, J. Futures Studies for the southern African region: ‘from Africa’ not ‘on Africa’. In: 3rd International SANORD Symposium, 6-7 June 2012, Aarhus University, Denmark. (Submitted)




Futures studies is well established in the Nordic region and its history can be readily charted, but in Africa it barely exists in an institutional form and its evolution and impact is little known or understood. The first two sections of our paper briefly examine the history of futures studies, spending most attention on the African experience. We go on to show that the Higher Education landscape in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is very different to that in the Nordic region. Recent futures reports present forecasts and scenarios that show a differentiated Higher Education landscape in the SADC; there are few Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and even the most optimistic forecasts show that the region as a whole will not meet the international enrollment norm of 30% by 2050. The last part of the paper examines our experience of collaboration with Finland and its well developed linkages between state and Universities. One outcome of three years of collaboration from 2007 to 2009 between two SANORD members, the Finland Futures Research Centre (now a part of the University of Turku) and Rhodes University, was a proposal to develop a multi-disciplinary, inter-institutional futures studies program intended to help Africa find its own voice in futures studies. The final part of our presentation reflects on the unsuccessful experiences that we have had to date in finding funding. We conclude by asking whether our experience can be seen as highlighting some of the challenges SANORD may be positioned to overcome if the SADC region’s HEIs are to achieve the Knowledge Village scenario and begin to match their Nordic counterparts.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:SANORD, futures studies, Africa, SARUA scenarios, Rhodes University, Finland Futures Research Centre, Higher Education, South Africa, Southern African Development Community, SADC, HEIs, funding
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Geography
ID Code:3004
Deposited By: Prof Roddy Fox
Deposited On:30 Jul 2012 14:20
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 07:12
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