South Africa and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries

The aim: why this e-Booth?

The aim of the e-Booth is to allow the new Erasmus+ Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education (CBHE) beneficiaries to have a wider picture of the context in which their projects are implemented and to get inspiration for new contacts and opportunities of synergies with other project beneficiaries in the region.

In particular, the e-Booth will:
- Provide information related to the stakeholders in the region, as well as to the existing initiatives;
- Present CBHE projects in the region in order to promote synergies among projects;
- Offer a space for networking with the EACEA, EU Delegations and with other projects working in the region.

Main topic

ACP countries - African, Caribbean and Pacific region (region 11) 

The ACP countries have different socio-cultural realities, higher education systems, as well as different national priorities.
The region has been covered by the CBHE action since the 2016 selection.
The 40 selected projects are national, intra-regional or cross-regional, the majority of them focusing mainly on curriculum development but also on modernization of policies, governance and management of higher education systems.
Only one project in the region is coordinated by an ACP higher education institution (University of Egerton, Kenya).
As for the ACP countries involved in selected projects, a regular pattern can be observed where with most countries being involved only once in selected projects. Uganda and Tanzania register the highest participation followed by Mozambique and Kenya. 

CBHE Regional report: African Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP)

South Africa (region 10) 

The CBHE action is aligned with the South African Government’s educational strategy as defined in the South African National Development Plan 2030, which aims to ensure the availability of quality education and skills development, professional teacher training, and to further support innovation as a source of sustainable growth and competitiveness. Moreover, through employment creation, the CBHE action can to contribute to South Africa’s intervention against high unemployment (27%) especially among young people (53%).

South Africa, as a separate region, has been involved since the inception of the CBHE action in 2015.

Among the 29 selected projects involving South Africa, 6 projects are coordinated by South African institutions: Technological Higher Education Network South Africa (THENSA), University of Free State University of Nelson Mandela University of Stellenbosch and University of Pretoria (2 projects) .

The project themes implemented in South Africa are several, such as, the health, digitalisation, maritime education and Sustainable Development Goals to mention a few.

The CBHE projects in South Africa have built bridges for interdisciplinary collaboration. The collaboration between the South African higher education institutions has helped to overcome ’silo mentality’ which is caused by academic disconnection.

CBHE Regional report: South Africa

Powerpoint Presentation: Impact study ACP and South Africa

Stakeholders in the regions

EU Delegations (EUDs)

  • They EUDs are responsible for all policy areas of the relationship between the EU and the host country. In addition, they analyse and report on political developments in their host country. They also programme development cooperation through projects and grants. A fundamental aspect of a Delegation is its public diplomatic role, which consists in increasing the visibility, awareness and understanding of the EU.
  • EUDs are diplomatic missions usually responsible for one country, although some are representatives to several countries.
  • In the framework of Erasmus+, the EU Delegations have an important role in the:
  • selection of the CBHE projects – the EUDs are consulted on the submitted proposals,
  • promotion and support to the selected projects.

VIDEO EUD South Africa: Erasmus Pre-departure 

VIDEO EUD South Africa: Study in Europe Fair in South Africa

The ACP Secretariat ensures the administrative management of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) group. It has its headquarters in Brussels.

The ACP group is composed of African, Caribbean and Pacific States signatories to the Georgetown Agreement or the Partnership Agreement between the ACP and the European Union, officially called the "ACP-EC Partnership Agreement" or the "Cotonou Agreement".

The ACP Secretariat takes part in the selection of the CBHE proposals.

ACP in Action: Interactive Map of Intra-ACP Projects in the ACP Member States

Background info

Policy context- Education

Education is an area in which the European Union has supporting competencies; this means that each Member State is free to organise its own academic system.

According to the EU treaties, the EU can only support, coordinate or complement the action of member countries. It has no power to pass laws and may not interfere with member countries’ ability to do so. The European Commission offers a forum for cooperation between countries and tries to improve coherence in education policies. It also funds various initiatives that support education in Europe, from ensuring the recognition of qualifications abroad to promoting success stories and, of course, the flagship programme Erasmus+.

The EU Cooperation Policy and Higher Education in the regions

The EU cooperation policy primarily aims to reduce poverty in the Region. It also contributes to other international priorities such as sustainable economic, social and environmental development, respect for human rights, promotion of democracy, rule of law and good governance. This is in accordance with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Within this context, the CBHE projects, when successful, are contributing to promotion of higher education exchanges and cooperation contributing to the establishing of several regional university partnerships and collaborative networks as well as mutually beneficial linkages in learning and teaching and, by extension, making a strong contribution to the evolution of the regional higher education area.

Current Challenges

Challenges in Higher Education in the ACP region and South Africa

Higher education systems in the ACP-Region and South Africa is facing a number of challenges. Growing levels of student enrolment throughout the region are straining the limited resources of public universities. At the same time, the number of private institutions has increased rapidly. This development needs to be matched by investments in physical and technological infrastructure while simultaneously guaranteeing a high teaching standard. This must also be accompanied by an improvement in access, equity, and affordability, especially for marginalized communities and women.

Despite the relative increase in enrolment in higher education and efforts carried out by institutions, international organisations and countries to support mobility of students and staff, the rate of mobility, within, from and to the Region, remains comparatively low.

The poor performance of the labour market is reflected in very low employment rates and high levels of unemployment, leading to a brain drain among graduates and a lack of regional university cooperation.

The effective and strategic management of research portfolios also poses another challenge, and the CBHE action will ensure the sustainability and growth in an increasingly complex, competitive and changing global environment. Funding programmes are increasingly competitive, with a greater focus on excellence and the need to do more in partnerships with other institutions and companies. There is also a need to demonstrate research impact, efficiency, and innovation. Skilled research managers are key resources in institutional efforts to sustain and increase research and are critical enablers in helping research projects achieve maximum deliverables and impact.

The CBHE action targets the above-mentioned challenges through the implementation of international cooperation projects

Challenges in project management and implementation:

The projects can face several challenges during the project lifetime.

The following issues, among others, will most certainly come up:

  • How to deal with the consequences of COVID-19?
  • How to avoid and deal with delays due to Administrative burden?
  • How to avoid ineligible costs?
  • How to guarantee project’s impact and sustainability?

The solutions are often found through different means:

  • Consult the EACEA and the EU Delegations and Embassies present in the target countries.
  • Consult your project documentation as coordinator and share it with your partners (grant agreement, Partnership Agreement, Programme Guide, work packages … )
  • Good preparation and advance planning (written dissemination plan, sustainability plan)
  • Slight adaptations to initial plans may be necessary such as revision of the work plan, timing and even the budget. In case the changes are more significant, the EACEA will come to your help with the official amendment procedures to the grant agreement.
  • Consistent and frequent internal communication within the partnership is prerequisite for a smooth and successful project implementation and for building mutual trust.

The Programme website will provide documents for reporting that you can find on the Beneficiary”s page 2020 in the programme website.

You can consult some of these documents and guidelines on the “Library& Resources”

Existing Initiatives

Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme

The Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme is part of the EU funded Pan-African Programme. It promotes higher education cooperation between countries in Africa and it aims to improve the skills and competences of students and staff of African countries through academic mobility. The Scheme provides financial support to partnerships of African higher education institutions for the organisation and implementation of student and staff mobility across the continent. It grants scholarships to students (at masters and doctoral level) and to university (academic and administrative) staff members to carry out studies, research, teaching and training assignments in another African country.

Tuning Africa

The Tuning Africa pilot Project is implemented in the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.
It is a collaborative process reviewing through consultation with students, academics, graduates and the labour market, the competences and skills that are required for a given discipline and revising study programmes.
The Tuning Africa initiative results in new and revised academic degree profiles that cover the generic and subject-specific competences in eight subject areas. The African Credit Transfer system has been drafted in the framework of the initiative.

Harmonisation of African Higher Education, Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) 

HAQAA is funded by the European Union Commission, in the context of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership.
HAQAA is an initiative that has been established to support the development of a harmonised quality assurance and accreditation system at institutional, national, regional and Pan-African continental level. In particular, it aims at the development of continent standards and guidelines for quality assurance in higher education, capacity building in the regional and national bodies in charge of higher education and building up expertise in the field of institutional evaluation and quality. WeTransfer Picture: haqaa

African Students and Alumni Forum (ASAF) 

ASAF is a platform of African students, alumni and professionals who have benefited from international mobility scholarships funded by the European Union and the African Union that offers opportunities for exchange, collaboration and capacity building.
ASAF is organised by its members who work on a volunteer basis. It is funded by the European Union and managed by the European Union in close cooperation with the African Union.

Africa Connect 

The AfricaConnect project co-funded by the EU. It aims to establish a high-capacity Internet network for research and education in Southern and Eastern Africa to provide the region with a gateway to global research collaboration.

More information

ACP secretariat

EU Delegation in South Africa

South Africa

EU Delegation of African Union

EU Delegations in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries

  • Angola

  • Benin

  • Botswana

  • Burkina Faso

  • Burundi

  • Cameroon

  • Cape Verde

  • Central African Republic

  • Congo

  • Congo Democratic Republic

  • Djibouti

  • Eritrea

  • Ethiopia

  • Fiji

  • Gabon

  • Gambia

  • Ghana

  • Guinea

  • Guinea-Bissau

  • Ivory Coastôte-divoire_en

  • Kenya

  • Lesotho

  • Liberia

  • Madagascar

  • Malawi

  • Mali

  • Mauritania

  • Mauritius

  • Mozambique

  • Namibia

  • Niger

  • Nigeria

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Rwanda

  • Senegal

  • Sierra Leone

  • Somalia

  • South Sudan

  • Sudan

  • Timor Leste

  • Tanzania

  • Togo

  • Uganda

  • Zambia

  • Zimbabwe

EU Delegations in the Caribbean countries

  • Barbados

  • Dominican Republic

  • Guyana

  • Haiti

  • Jamaica

  • Trinidad and Tobago

Best practices and success stories

Get a taste for some of the on-going projects: 

South Africa

Title: Empowering universities’ Learning and rEsearch caPacities in the one Health Approach for the maNagement of animals at the wildlife, livestock and human interface in souTh africa 

The project aims to boost innovative research capacities in health and welfare management.

This project aims to boost innovative research capacities in health and welfare management. This is done through creation of multidisciplinary one Health Network and virtual research platform. Collaboration will be initiated and enhanced between local and governmental authorities and local communities

Title: Common Good First - Digital Storytelling for Social Innovation (CGF) 

The Common Good First (CGF) project was set up to establish a digital network (online directory) to display social projects through means of digital storytelling in South Africa. Consequently, the project aims to address the ‘digital divide’, as identified by the country’s National Development Plan 2030 (2013), by supporting the growth of e-skills among community groups. In order to achieve this the project would create two modules of digital storytelling and developing digital labs three South African provinces, focusing on rural, peri-urban and urban locations.

The online directory ‘Common Good First platform’ currently includes 116 profiles of community projects and 50 digital stories in the fields of health and wellbeing, housing and environment and youth and education and is increasing because of the work of the labs in South Africa. The social innovators are thus addressing inequalities and societal challenges identified in South Africa.

African, Caribbean and Pacific countries 

Below you will have a taste of some of the Capacity building projects.


CITYLAB CAR : engaging students in sustainable Caribbean cities 


Title: Improve innovation for sustainable development and inclusive growth by capacity building of internationalisation, student placement and entrepreneurship, soft skills and social innovation.

The project focused in social innovation and entrepreneurship, practice-based learning methodologies, and research development targeting Angola and Mozambique. 'Centre for Academic Development and Innovation (CADI) for continued networking and training were established during project lifetime.

Check the interesting testimonials of the participants on the website.



STEM-education is very relevant for East-African countries, as producing added value is a way of improving life standard in these developing countries. Moreover, there is a high demand for technicians from investors, NGOs and the emerging mid-class in Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania, supported by legislative attempts to increase local employment. To cope with this demand, there is a need for skilled people, trained in relevant engineering trades, but they are hard to find, due to the strong theoretical approach in universities instead of practice-oriented competence-based teaching. This is directly related to the lack of modern curricula in engineering and industry-grade equipment.


Video Presentation:


You will be on among an impressive number of interesting projects. Find projects that are similar to yours and learn from each other:


List of all CBHE projects funded for 2014-2019

You can filter the list by project number, country and/or higher education institution:

Newly Selected projects 2020

Find the 12 projects in South Africa and ACP region funded last call (2020)

African, Caribbean and Pacific region 

Find a list of all 40 funded projects with short description funded 2015-2020.

South Africa

Find a list of all 29 funded projects with short description targeting South Africa 2014-2020

And more project results:

Erasmus+ Dissemination platform

Usefull links

EU Policy cooperation with Africa: useful links

Joint Africa-EU Strategy

Cooperation in higher education under the Joint Africa-EU partnership

Joint EU-Africa Summit Roadmap 2014-2017 (see points 33 to 35)


New impetus for the partnership

Towards a comprehensive partnership with Africa

Joint Communication for a renewed impetus of the Africa-EU Partnership (May 2017)

Flagships on advancing knowledge and skills in Joint Communication

Political Declaration of Heads of State – Africa-EU Summit November 2017 Abidjan

Students and alumni structured dialogue, October 2017, Abidjan – feeding into Africa-EU Summit

Africa-Europe Youth Summit, October 2017, Abidjan – feeding into Africa-EU Summit

Continental framework for Africa

African Union’s Agenda 2063

CESA 2016-2025

Pan African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework