ARUA Conferences

ARUA 2021 Biennial International Conference

Title: Global Public Health Challenges: Facing Them in Africa

17 – 19 November 2021

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic was met with a significant amount of concern about how African economies were going to cope, given their relatively weak position in several areas. The pandemic quickly exposed how fragile the health systems and institutions in Africa were.

As developed economies moved increasingly towards inward-looking policies to counter the pandemic, there was a cascading amplification of risks faced in sub-Saharan economies, and this raised important questions about Africa’s preparedness to meaningfully address the myriad challenges that emerged as a result, formulate, and implement context-appropriate policies to contain the spread of the disease.

What is more, the pandemic provides a bleak reminder that in the global economy, challenges that emerge in one part of the world can easily assume a global dimension fairly rapidly. The inward-looking policies adopted by the economies of the global North in response to the current pandemic should serve as a reminder to African economies to begin to take responsibility for the search for solutions to future global public health challenges as they occur in the region. It is essential to build governance and health systems that make it possible for the region to collaboratively confront the next global health challenges more appropriately.

The ARUA 2021 Biennial Conference will bring together experts from universities, research institutions, government, industry, civil society, international organizations, etc., to discuss the different steps that African economies need to take in order to face global public health challenges squarely. In reflecting on the prominent lessons from the handling of previous and current pandemics, the medium to long term implications of measures and steps taken to contain the spread of the virus in Africa will be the focus of the conference. This will be done in recognition of the interconnectedness of the various issues involved in dealing with a pandemic.

The conference was jointly hosted by the University of Pretoria and the University of Witwatersrand and took place at the Future Africa Facility at the University of Pretoria. This year’s conference was hosted as a hybrid event with physical and online participation.


PAST Conferences

The UNU-WIDER Development Conference, 2017

Migration & Mobility

The 2017 UNU-WIDER Development Conference took place on 5-6 April 2017 at the ISSER Conference Centre of University of Ghana. The conference, which was jointly organised with the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), was under the theme of “Migration and Mobility – New Frontiers for Research and Policy”. His Excellency Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, and Her Excellency Ms Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, Ambassador of Finland in Accra, formally opened it. The two-day conference had two keynote speakers, three plenary sessions, and over twenty parallel and poster presentation sessions

ARUA’s International Launch Conference 2017


Inaugural conference identifies collaboration themes, strengthens pan-African networks. “Africa cannot be free if we do not adequately replicate in good measure the high level skills and pioneering research required to foster inclusive development on the continent, whilst making a unique, valuable contribution to the global knowledge economy,” comments Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), at the inaugural conference of ARUA, which runs from 3-4 April 2017 at the University of Ghana.

ARUA Second Biennial Conference 2019

Africa and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Defining a Role for Research Universities

The African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) hosted an international conference and workshops on 18-20 November 2019 in Nairobi under the theme “Africa and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Defining a Role for Research Universities”.

The world is being ushered into a new industrial future, which is set to change in a fundamental way, how people live daily. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be fundamentally different from earlier industrial revolutions in its scope and complexity, as well as its scale.

4th Floor, Ghana Academy of Arts & Sciences Building
#1 Research Crescent, Casely Hayford Road,
Airport Residential Area, Accra, Ghana
Ghana Post Digital Address: GA-018-1233

The Secretary-General
African Research Universities Alliance
C/O Ghana Academy of Arts & Sciences
PO. Box M32, Accra-Ghana