African Continental Qualifications Framework (ACQF)

Development of the ACQF was officially launched 2019. This process is led by the African Union Commission, working in partnership with the European Union, GIZ and the European Training Foundation (ETF). The process is participative, based on analysis and evidence, and builds on African and global experience. An ACQF policy and technical document, supported by an Action Plan, will be submitted for adoption by the AU in 2022.

  • Overarching framework against which national and regional frameworks and level descriptors – can be calibrated.
  • Referencing qualifications framework – NQFs reference to ACQF following criteria and procedures. Use of ACQF levels in qualifications.
  • Catalyst to develop national frameworks
  • Reference for comparison with other international frameworks


The ACQF is vital to the processes that contribute to create and African education space:

  • Advance the implementation of CESA 2016-2025
  • Harmonise higher education in Africa and implement Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF)
  • Implement the AU TVET Strategy to foster youth employment


Policy underpinnings

African Union

Education, skills and qualifications are at the heart of African renaissance. Therefore, the African Continental Qualifications Framework (ACQF) is a vital policy underpinned by the key strategic commitments and policies of the African Union:

European Union

  • Communication 12/9/2018: Africa-Europe Alliance, Action 4
  • EQF Recommendation 2017: new article 13 opening-up possibilities to compare with other qualifications frameworks (national, regional), following criteria to be defined by EQF AG

Advisory Board

The advisory board is composed of key persons from the following organizations:

  • Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA),
  • Mauritius Qualifications Authority
  • South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
  • Ministry Education – VET, Morocco
  • Federal TVET Agency – Ethiopia
  • Autorité Nationale d’Assurance Qualité de l’Enseignement Supérieur, Sénégal
  • Mozambique National Council on Quality Assurance in Higher Education, Mozambique
  • National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education, Egypt
  • University Accreditation and Quality Assurance Department – Cameroon
  • Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
  • Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
  • Inter-University Council for East Africa – IUCEA (EAC)
  • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
  • African Union Development Agency AUDA – NEPAD
  • Association of African Universities (AAU)
  • Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE)
  • Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur (CAMES)
  • Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA)
  • Association of Arab Universities (AARU)
  • Association of West African Universities (AWAU)
  • African Qualifications Verification Network
  • Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities & Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA)
  • TVET Cluster CESA
  • Coordinator – Curriculum Cluster CESA
  • Coordinator – Teacher Development Cluster CESA
  • Africa Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities (AFTRA)
  • Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)
  • Association for the Development of Education in Africa(ADEA)
  • African Council for Distance Education (ACDE)
  • African Early Childhood Network (AfECN)
  • African Alliance for the Development of Vocational Training (ADEFOP)
  • Business Africa
  • Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU)
  • All African Students Union (AASU)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • UNESCO Division for Policies


  • Mapping study (2019-2020)
  • Feasibility, options, scenarios ACQF (2020-2021
  • ACQF document and Action Plan (2021-2022)