Second Dakar university named after former UNESCO head

Senegal’s President Macky Sall has chosen to name Unidak-2, the second public university in the capital Dakar, after Professor Amadou Mahtar M’bow, former director-general of UNESCO and government minister.

Construction started in January on the new university, which has a budget of FCFA65 billion (US$107.5 million) partly financed by the World Bank. Due to open in October 2016 it will specialise in disciplines to fit the needs of the employment market, reported the Agence de Presse Sénégalaise, or APS.

Sall was motivated to honour M’Bow, now aged 94, for his “historic combat” in defence of a new, more equitable world order of information, for his “patriotic commitment” and his “permanent activism for peace and democracy”, reported APS.

M’Bow was appointed assistant director-general of UNESCO for education in 1970, then took over as director-general from 1974 to 1980. Under his direction a commission led by the Irish Nobel laureate Seán MacBride produced the report Many Voices, One World, which recommended establishing a ‘new world order of information and communication’.

In 2008 he presided over Senegal’s Assises Nationales, a debate that resulted in the country’s Charter of Democratic Governance. He currently chairs the National Commission of Reform of Institutions.

As a young man, after studies in Paris, where he led the Association of African Students, M’Bow fought in the Second World War for the French. Later he taught in secondary schools in Saint-Louis, Senegal, before pursuing a career in government.

He was minister for education and culture in 1957-58, then after Senegal’s independence in 1960 became minister of education in 1966 and later of culture and youth.

* Meanwhile, Sall is due to lay the foundation stone of the new University of Sine Saloum de Kaolack later this month. USSK, as it is dubbed, is scheduled to open in October 2016, reported Sud Quotidien of Dakar.

It will specialise in livestock farming, agriculture and fisheries, together with associated subjects such as nutrition, reported Le Soleil of Dakar. Other courses will cover tourism and the hotel trade.

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