Pioneering students at the JKUAT based Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUISTI) are set to graduate in November 2014, a feat that will consolidate African Union’s dream of integrating member states through higher education. The students who were admitted in 2012 for various masters programmes have successfully completed their research projects; a number of them having published in refereed journals.
Addressing PAUISTI students and staff at JKUAT, Thursday July 10, 2014, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E. Martial Ikounga noted that what started as a simple idea has now metamorphosed into a reality with tangible outputs.
The Commissioner attributed PAUISTI success to good working relationship among partners: AU, government of Kenya; Japan International Corporation Agency, and host institution, JKUAT.
“Because of the strong leadership and dedication by the PAUISTI staff and host institution, the Institute has now set an enviable example for the remaining PAU instates spread across the continent,” Ikounga averred.
The AU official challenged the students to proceed and offer solutions to the problems afflicting Africa, not just for the present generation, but for the future ones too.
“Am looking forward to come with the Chairperson of the African Union to witness your graduation come November,” Ikounga enthused.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga who received the Commissioner at the University thanked AU for honouring JKUAT to host the East African hub of the continental university. Prof. Imbuga equally lauded the requisite contribution of the government of Kenya and JICA, which is the lead thematic partner and in the implementation of PAUISTI.
The Vice Chancellor commended the students for their discipline, dedication and cooperation that she said had enabled them to complete studies within schedule.
To facilitate faster integration and effective learning, Prof. Imbuga noted that JKUAT had inaugurated Linguistics and Foreign Languages Centre to assist PAUISTI students learn the languages of instruction which include English and French.
Prof. Manabu Tsunoda who addressed the meeting on behalf of JICA reiterated the commitment of the agency in helping Africa actualize its aspirations. Tsunoda who is a Chief Advisor to JICA and ICT coordinator for the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN project indicated that Japan plans to set up innovation and fabrication labs at JKUAT to intensify applied research and innovations for the continent.
The students, led by Sambujang Marreh expressed their gratitude to the PUUISTI partners and particularly to Prof. Gabriel Magoma who is the Institute’s Director; emphasizing that the training had not only developed them academically but also professionally.
“We are ready to be part of solution for Africa’s problems by being productive and useful members of our society,” Sambujang reinforced.
Commissioner Ikounga also toured the upcoming PAUISTI Complex, whose phase 1 construction is slated to be complete by October 2014. The Complex will house the Institute’s workshops, laboratories and administration facilities.