AFRICA: Pan-African University to open first centres

The Pan-African University will start operations in September with the opening of three centres of excellence in Kenya, Nigeria and Cameroon, Amadou Lamine Ndiaye, president of the high-level panel overseeing the university's creation, announced in an interview with SudonLine of Dakar.

The PAU was proposed by the African Union in 2008 to provide advanced graduate training and postgraduate research opportunities for high-performing African students, and also aims to promote mobility of students and teachers and harmonisation of programmes and degrees.

When functioning fully it will consist of a central campus linked to a network of five regional institutes in East, West, North, Southern and Central Africa.

Each of the institutes would later be linked to about 10 other centres, said Ndiaye, who is former rector of the University of Saint-Louis and Vice-president of the Senegalese Academy of Sciences.

He said five major themes had been identified as having potential to boost the continent's development, and each regional institute would specialise in one of these.

Basic sciences, technology and innovation had been allocated to East Africa; earth and life sciences, with emphasis on agriculture and medicine, to West Africa; water and energy, to include climate change, to North Africa; space science to Southern Africa; and social sciences, humanities and governance to Central Africa.

The three institutes chosen to open in September will be based at the Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya, Ibadan University in Nigeria and the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon.

The future North African centre will be in Algeria, but the host higher education institution has not yet been chosen; and the Southern Africa centre will be announced later, said Ndiaye.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.