The 5th cohort, comprising 140 students, has reported at the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI), to pursue masters and PhD studies on African Union scholarships. The admission of the students who are drawn from 36 African countries is a great milestone in the implementation of the JKUAT based continental graduate training and research Institute, which opened its doors to the pioneer group in 2012.
Besides increase in national and gender diversity, PAUSTI also rolled out two new programmes namely MSc. Mechatronic Engineering and MSc. Mechanical Engineering.
Megang Junile from Cameroon, who was admitted to pursue the masters degree in Financial Mathematics said the opportunity will enable her to acquire quality education and analytical tools to better understand Africa’s financial markets.
On his part, Mebemboutini Chandry, a citizen of Congo Brazzaville who is set to study civil engineering, said it was an honour to study in Africa’s best university. He said he would take advantage of the diversity to make important contacts as well hone proficiency in English language.
Speaking on the role of young women scientists in Africa development agenda, Akpeke Enyonam Nice said under conducive environment, women stand as much chance as men to contribute lasting solutions.
Making reference to Prof. Mabel Imbuga, Nice who is from Ghana, hopes to become a leading female voice in academia, industry and policy cycles in her chosen field of electrical engineering.
Addressing the new students on Monday November 27, 2017, Mr. Evans Atambo from the Ministry of Education urged the students to champion innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the continent.
PAU, he said, was a grand idea to move Africa away from the paradox; where despite substantial resource endowments, the continent was still struggling with a myriad of development challenges.
Mr. Atambo reiterated the commitment of the Government of Kenya to ensure successful implementation of PAUSTI, an institution that he averred was key in the development of Africa.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga informed the news students that Africa expected much from them, in line with the objectives behind the establishment of PAU.
“You are the new generation of scientists who will, in the course of your studies, imbibe the African values, perspectives, wisdom and knowledge in order to come up with sustainable solutions to the challenges of our time,” said Prof. Imbuga.
The Vice Chancellor nudged the students to emulate their predecessors by engaging in high quality research and innovation; publish in high impact journals as well as secure patents for their novel ideas.
“I encourage the female students to give meaning to the scholarship by excelling in your studies in order to inspire more women scientists to across the continent,” Prof. Imbuga added.
Prof. Manabu Tsunoda who represented JICA during the ceremony advised the students to effectively manage their time and closely work with faculty to ensure timely and successful completion of their studies.
Tsunoda who is the Chief Advisor to the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project said JICA will continue to play a constructive role in Africa’s development by enhancing the continent’s human resources. He urged the students to form useful networks that could shape a basis of long term collaborations.
Welcoming the students to PAUSTI, Director, Prof. Gabriel Magoma said the Institute prides itself as the first to have graduated students. He challenged the young scientists to leverage on their diversity as a source of strength, prioritize learning, while upholding moral values and character.
Prof. Magoma said courses such as history of Africa, gender and human rights; were all intended to pitch a strong African case among the students.
PAU was established by a decision of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in 2010, with a view to developing institutions of excellence in science, technology, innovation, social sciences and governance, which would constitute the bedrock for an African pool of higher education and research. It strives to stimulate collaborative, internationally competitive and development-oriented research, in areas having a direct bearing on the technical, economic and social development of Africa