||Since 1991 donors have advised sub-Saharan African universities to prepare "strategic plans". Universities should embark on strategic planning because they believe it has value in its own right, independently of whether it may release donor funds. Restructuring the relationship with government is a vital dimension. The plan as a document, to be publicized and negotiated, also takes on greater significance than Northern planning models allow. It must show how the university can serve its society, so the making must tap the skills and energies of academic colleagues. But engaging their co-operation in determining academic priorities has been a repeated difficulty. Much training is required, and a high premium is placed on the vice-chancellor's leadership. Continuous support from consultants helps, but the university must take ownership of the plan. The strategic plans which have been produced are considerable achievements. The form of strategic planning should be very different, certainly in detail and maybe in broad shape, in African universities than in their Northern counterparts. Opportunities for planners in Africa to learn from each other and to develop models appropriate to their circumstances will be of vital importance. .