AFRICA: 2iE Foundation signs campus agreement

The Fondation 2iE has signed a partnership agreement with the Société d'Energie et d'Eau du Gabon (SEEG), a private sector Gabonese energy and water company, to create Campus Afrique Centrale, a 50-hectare technology institution based in Libreville.

Campus Afrique Centrale (CAC) will offer professionally-focused education in water, energy, electricity, environment and civil engineering, and will open in the first semester of 2012, according to a press statement from 2iE, the Institut International d'Ingénierie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement-International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering.

2iE is a bilingual training and research centre located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, whose programmes are accredited by the French Engineering Title Commission.

It is a pole of excellence for the West African Economic and Monetary Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the New Partnership for Africa's Development, and a member of the French network of elite engineering institutes.

It has 1,250 students of 35 nationalities, a quarter of them women, plus 600 throughout the world who are following distance courses.

The CAC partnership with SEEG was signed in Libreville where the Foundation 2iE was holding its governors' and annual general meetings, the latter attended by members who include representatives from 16 African countries*.

According to the foundation the agreement is in line with its policy of developing public-private partnerships "to tackle head-on the employment-education question and provide funding to train young people in the professions that the African economy needs".

The Campus Afrique Central represents an investment in infrastructure and facililties of FCFA13 billion (US$28 million) over the next five years, and aims to cater for 2,000 students from 2013, said the foundation.

* The foundation's 14 original African member countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Senegal and Togo. They were joined at the July meeting by two new members, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) and Guinea-Bissau.