ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 2, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union (AU) on Tuesday, 31st January 2012 hosted a fund-raising luncheon to propel forward the recently launched Pan-African University (PAU). Holding at the sidelines of the 18th AU Summit, the event took place in the new African Union Conference Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It brought together several donors and partners including the Private Sector and some representatives of AU Member States.
The fund-raising luncheon was organized by the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST) of the African Union Commission (AUC), in the presence of the some Commissioners and high officials of the AU Commission.
The event was chaired by Professor Jean-Pierre Ezin, Commissioner of HRST. The Commissioner welcomed the invited guests and thanked them for their useful contributions in kind or in cash, to support one of the African Union flagship projects; the Pan-African University. He underlined the importance and relevance of the PAU, noting that most African countries face the challenge of establishing high quality institutions in order to restore Africa’s image in terms of education. According to Professor Ezin, the PAU will contribute in building the capacity of future researchers in Africa to help enhance the development of the continent.
Addressing participants at the fund-raising luncheon, Mrs.Vera Ngosi, Director of HRST, highlighted that, the PAU will help Africa to meet its collective goals such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She said science, technology and innovation are the basis for socio-economic development of the Continent.
Mrs.Hewan Teka Legesse, a Philanthropists who assisted in the organisation of the fund raising for the promotion of the PAU, animated the luncheon by encouraging partners to support the AU department of Human Resources, Science and Technology in their efforts to raise the needed fund to enable an effective implementation of the PAU project.
Dr. Beatrice Njenga, Head of the Education Division of HRST presented the structure of the PAU saying, it is a thematic network of higher institutions of research. She added that the distinguishing factor of the PAU is that, it nurtures quality and exemplify excellence through its peculiar curriculum. Dr. Njenga listed the five thematic areas of the PAU. They are:
– Space Sciences (Southern Africa);
– Water and Energy Sciences (North Africa);
– Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (Eastern Africa);
– Earth and Life Sciences (West Africa);
– Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (Central Africa).
During the fund-raising, Dr. Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea in Addis Ababa and former Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), announced his country’s commitment to support the AU efforts for this activity. He said his country is interested in fishery and will provide the needed infrastructure to host a branch in this area if the AU is interested. Dr. Mangue further donated and envelop of undisclosed amount which he said will be deducted from his salary as his own personal contribution to the PAU project. He said it is a pride for young African students to be educated in the continent rather than going abroad for their studies.
The representative of the African Capacity Building Fund (ACBF) also made promises amongst others donors and partners, to support the PAU project.
African Union Commission (AUC)