Community Engagement (CE) is an accredited path for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to address development challenges facing communities. However, establishing practical CE approaches is difficult due to a lack of information on stakeholders' perceptions and needs for CE. This paper intends to fill this gap by examining engaged stakeholders' perceptions and needs for CE. We conducted a survey among 450 stakeholders, categorised as dairy farmers, students, and faculty members of a case study HEI in Africa. One-way ANOVA findings showed that the three categories perceived CE differently and had multiple needs. To harness reciprocal engagement, HEIs should create more CE opportunities and address stakeholders' needs such as establishing structures, allocating time for engagement elements, financial support, and communication.