This paper posits that, beginning from independence in the middle of the 20th century, African higher education was tasked with the responsibilities of shoring up the self-worth of Africans, opening up new employment opportunities, reorienting the lifelong learning direction of Africa and helping Africa to navigate through the different regimes of globalisation. This was the manner in which modern higher education was expected to meaningfully contribute to African development. The analysis run to check whether these expectations were met showed that none of these tasks was able to be accomplished because for the past two centuries of its existence on African soil, modern higher education has distanced itself from African communities. The paper therefore recommends that, since no development may be promoted without partnering with the communities, higher education should face up to its community engagement mission for once. A model was proposed by which this mission may be responsibly carried through.
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