Inter-Country Quality Node on Higher Education and Scientific Research (ICQN-HESR)


Since 1988, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) has established 19 working groups (WGs) and inter-country quality nodes (ICQNs) in key thematic areas related to education and training in Africa. The WGs were led by networks of professionals working to produce knowledge and tools to help countries address the challenges facing their education and training systems. The merger of the working groups has led to the creation of new PQIPs. They are entities that easily demonstrate the value added by ADEA and are expected to play a key role in achieving the objectives of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-2025), thus contributing to the realization of the aspirations of Africa's Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals. Thus, nine (9) ICQNs came into existence in January 2020 including the ICQN-HESR whose idea was launched during the Dakar Triennale in 2017. Hosted by Senegal, whose commitment to the development of education in Africa is recognized, the new ICQN will create synergies between different countries.

Added value

The ICQN-HESR, hosted by the Government of Senegal, is an intergovernmental unit for policy dialogue and collaborative action among African Ministers of Higher Education and/or Research and Innovation and strategic partners to advance quality higher education and research in their countries and in Africa. The collaborative approach and networking will support the exchange of knowledge on concepts, research results and capacity building to respond to the different contexts in which higher education and research programmes are implemented.


Make higher education and research a lever for economic, social and cultural development in Africa. 


Such a platform will also enable the creation of a learning environment for the systematic identification, documentation, analysis, dissemination and sharing of lessons that African countries are learning from the process of implementing lessons learned. ADEA contributes to bringing coherence to the ongoing reforms in the various education, training and research systems of African countries, with a focus on training, research and innovation in all national and regional approaches. 

Senegal's interest in and commitment to promoting the ICQN underscores the importance of having such a framework to achieve the objectives set out in the ADEA Strategic Plan, the implementation of which is key to Africa's success. 


The overall objective of the ICQN-HESR is to assist Ministers in charge of Higher Education and/or Research to take the lead in reviewing, developing and implementing policies and strategies for effective higher education and research in Africa. ICQN will focus on the professional development of teachers and researchers, student success, and the creation of an environment conducive to quality research and innovation development. 

Specific objectives include the following:

  • Addressing the quality of teachers and researchers;
  • Promote campus development organized around student success;
  • Promote the integration of the New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) in higher education;
  • Develop appropriate approaches to student, teacher and course evaluation to ensure quality higher education;
  • Capitalize on information on innovative educational experiences in Africa and to work with a group of countries in the region to apply these experiences in their national context;
  • Promote and strengthen quality assurance in higher education and research ;
  • Help set up or strengthen information systems on higher education, research and innovation;
  • Encourage the development of national innovation policy documents in African countries;
  • Promote the establishment of mechanisms to attract private sector interest in university research;
  • Promote the development of scientific culture and the valorization of research results; and
  • Develop a label "study in Africa", for a greater influence of African higher education and research.


  • Mapping of higher education and research at the level of the five (5) geographical regions of the continent and elaboration of a continental mapping report of higher education and research in Africa.
  • Development and validation of the Remote Education Benchmarking Toolkit for higher education institutions.
  • Expansion of the number of ICQN member countries through the designation of focal points (2020: 6 countries / 2021: 9 countries).
  • Development of partnerships with countries, organizations and other institutions involved in higher education and research (Mastercard Foundation, National Quality Assurance Authority for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Arizona State University and Arab countries).

Key publications

Work perspectives

  • Pilot phase of implementation of the Toolkit for the implementation of distance education in higher education institutions launched
  • Development and official launch of the ICQN-HESR strategic framework
  • Organization of a high-level policy dialogue forum on higher education and research in October 2021
  • Expansion of country membership in ICQN-HESR

Member countries

  • Senegal (Pays hôte)
  • Burkina Faso (2020)
  • Cameroon (2020)
  • Congo (2021)
  • Egypt (2020)
  • Mauritius (2020)
  • Madagascar (2020)
  • Morocco (2021)
  • Zambia (2021)

Host institution

Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI), Senegal


Mouhamadou Moustapha Sow
ICQN-HESR Coordonnator
Abdoulaye Sall
ICQN Project officer
+221 775506918