PAPSSN Introductory Message

The PanAfrican Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) project is funded by the Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme of the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

The Pan-Africa Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) aims to create a mobility scheme for students, academic staff and support staff amongst partners from Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia within the thematic field: “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)” with particular emphasis for Planetary and Space Sciences (PSS).


The PanAfrican Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) is an Academic Mobility project funded by the Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme of the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

The overarching objective of PAPSSN is to support the development of a skilled and innovative graduate students’ community and improve their job preparedness for the growing Planetary and Space Science labour market in Africa and foster their capacity of operating local infrastructure, generating local data and engaging with the international community of scientists and entrepreneurs.

This mobility project, capitalizing on the new commitments from the AU and the EU, wishes to develop the next generation of African scientists, leaders, and entrepreneurs by improving their access to high quality STEM education, with particular emphasis on PSS. This development in PSS and technology leads to advances in technology literacy, security, safety, and productivity across a broad front of activities. Many African countries have already identified PSS as step stone for the modernization of their economy and for practical uses such as monitoring of land-use cover change, climate change, drought, hydrology, and natural disasters. Among the unquestioned benefits of PSS in the tertiary education system of African nations is the modernisation of the tertiary education programmes and introduction of new, cutting-edge technologies designed for space and planetary exploration within Africa HEIs and industries. PSS can excite the imagination of the public and stimulates the interest of the youth in science and technology.

A crucial aspect of this mobility programme will be to promote the standardization of PSS programmes by laying down a set of procedures that will be common throughout the consortium. This will, in turn, facilitate the internationalisation of the partner HEIs. It has been demonstrated that developments in PSS help the scientific community to address trans-boundary issues related to developmental and environmental problems, such as water management, and can consolidate international relationships, promote collaborations and optimize the use of limited funds. The PAPSSN will provide a critical venue to bridge the gap between countries with same PSS agenda but different skills and infrastructure thereby delivering the most impactful HE in terms of economic, cultural and livelihood of society. This project will promote a sustainable scientific and higher education strategy for developing PSS in Africa and attract national and international funding for African research institutions through the development of new collaborations and the strengthening of existing ones.


(2014-2020) Supporting academic mobility in Africa.

From 2016-2020, the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme supported student and staff mobility in Africa. The overall objective of the programme was to enhance human capital development in Africa, while strengthening intra-African cooperation in higher education as called for by the Agenda 2063.

The programme's specific objectives were to:

  • increase the employability of students,
  • improve the quality of higher education in Africa and its relevance to Africa's development vision,
  • strengthen the modernisation and internationalisation of African higher education institutions,
  • promote the development of an African higher education and research space.
  • Mobility of students and staff between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) aimed to help them acquire stronger knowledge and skills and contribute to improving the quality and relevance of teaching and learning through exchanges of practices.

The scheme also aimed to contribute to strengthening the modernisation and internationalisation strategies of HEIs through the establishment of mechanisms to manage mobility flows. This sought in turn to increase HEIs' capacity to forge partnerships with other institutions and undertake joint collaboration and research.

Furthermore, the programme aimed to bring together HEIs from different regions, requiring the setting up of adequate mechanisms to organise the exchanges, such as arrangements to compare curricula and recognise study periods abroad. The programme therefore aimed to enhance harmonisation and standardisation of higher education in line with the African Union Strategy for Harmonisation of Higher Education.

The Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme was set up under the Pan-African Programme (Development Cooperation Instrument) and was based on the experience of the Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme.

The European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) was responsible for managing the programme, in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and under the supervision of the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA) of the European Commission.




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