About consultation

The consultation on the Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency is being conducted by the HAQAA2 initiative on behalf of the African Union Commission, which intends to set-up this agency to enhance harmonisation and capacity for for quality assurance in Africa. The consultation will include: Quality Assurance Agencies – QAA, National Qualifications Authorities and HEIs, as well as university representative bodies and some selected pan-African institutions, targeted in different ways, so as to ensure efficacy as well as qualitative feedback. This site is designed to provide stakeholders the needed background information on the consultation process and survey. 

What is PAQAF?

The Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Framework (PAQAF) has been the African Union’s flagship framework for harmonisation in the higher education sector and a cornerstone of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA).

It has a number of tools and action lines, some of which are developed and are currently being promoted and implemented, and some of which are still pending development.

The following diagram summarises

The Addis Ababa Convention for Recognition of Studies , one of its instruments, had and still remains to be ratified by the majority of African states; the African Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ASG-QA) were subsequently drafted in the context of HAQAA1 (2015-2018), an initiative of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, financed by the European Union, as was a review methodology for quality assurance agencies (QAA) in Africa; The TUNING Africa initiative tabled a proposal for an African Credit Transfer System, which is pending endorsement; and an initiative of the European Training Foundation (ETF), GIZ (Germany) and the African Union Commission to build the African Continental Qualifications Framework is underway

What is the PAQAA?

As an integral part of PAQAF, the AU has also committed to the establishment of a Pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (PAQAA), which should serve as a guardian body for the PAQAF actions lines and tools.

The PAQAA has been a concept that has been both reinforced and matured over the past six years, expressly tied to African Union policy commitments and strategies:

What is being consulted?

The consultation process on the proposed phases for development of the PAQAA is designed to involve key stakeholder groups in HE to:

  • raise awareness for the PAQAA and its eventual mandate
  • generate a debate on best pathway to its establishment, based on the scenarios proposed
  • generate stakeholder buy-in for the implementation of PAQAA and its eventual governance structure

The consultation will ask key stakeholders about their opinion on the four phases, the governance model and the operational set-up and financing of the PAQAA. It will be based on these questions:

  • Do you support the ultimate goal to have one integrated agency for overseeing the implementation of all aspects of the PAQAF?
  • Do you support a progressive approach to the agency set-up, developing certain functions over time?
  • Is there anything that would inhibit your country or agency from participating in the agency and its functions?
  • Which governance model would you endorse?
  • Which financial model would you prefer, taking into account the sustainability of the organisation (membership, intermittent donor funding, Member State contribution….)

The consultation will target: Quality Assurance Agencies – QAA, National Qualifications Authorities and targeted HEIs, as well as university representative bodies and some selected pan-African institutions, targeted in different ways, so as to ensure efficacy as well as qualitative feedback.

A synthesis report of the consultations will be presented to the African Union Commission (STC). This will entail recommendations on general framework for the legal and financial implementation of PAQAA and a path to optimise the resources, actions and the results achieved. It will assess and integrate the results of the consultation, comment on the feasibility and desirability of each of the scenarios, provide and in-depth risk assessment and ultimately propose a path forward. The AUC will be able to use this report to decide on next steps regarding the establishment/set-up of the agency.

Proposed phases for development of the PAQAA

English version

French version

Portuguese version

Arabic version

With HAQAA2’s support, a Technical Working Group – TWG – was constituted and endorsed by the AUC . The TWG has developed four phases for the PAQAA’s establishment, which includes risk assessments. These phases can be seen as progressive stages of the agency’s establishment, and a possible means to growing the agency’s functions over time.

Document on the Phases of the PAQAA Set-Up

The survey

The survey for the PAQAA consultation is being made available in four languages to all major stakeholder groups.

The closing date to respond is

25 July 2022

We advise you to study closely the Phases for the development of PAQAA in order to be best informed to answer.