African Union’s dream of actualizing the Pan African University is now set to be a reality following the agreement by the Government of Japan to be a lead thematic partner in the setting up of the Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUISTI), hosted at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
In the unfolding arrangement, the Government of Japan, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will provide requisite graduate teaching and research equipment to the Institute. JICA will also undertake both medium and long term training of JKUAT technical and Faculty staff towards enhancing human capacity requirements for the continental University.
Speaking during a consultative forum at JKUAT, Ms. Kumagai Mitsuko, JICA Mission Leader, reiterated the commitment of Tokyo in partnering with African Union to develop homegrown intellectual and research aptitude aimed at solving existing and emerging challenges facing the African continent.
“All partners should expeditiously implement PAUISTI to shorten Africa’s wait for locally generated solutions,” noted Ms. Kumagai.
The JICA Mission Leader further lauded the cordial bilateral relationship between the governments of Kenya and Japan, noting that JKUAT was an exemplary evidence of what international synergy can accomplish.
While thanking the government of Japan for honoring Africans’ call, Dr. Abdul Hakim Elwaer, African Union Commission’s Director for Human Resources, Sciences and Technology Department, commended JKUAT for taking up the burden of staffing and admitting pioneer graduate students at the East African hub of Pan Africa University.
“This concept is unique because it aims to leverage on graduate training and research towards providing solutions to problems sidetracking the African continent,” explained Dr. Abdul.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga informed the consultative forum that 56 students enrolled in various Masters Degrees, have already concluded their first semester at PAUISTI.
We are honoured to host this Institute since targeted applied research cannot be gainsaid as viable panacea out of Africa Socio-economic maladies,” averred Prof. Imbuga.
A tripartite funding arrangement involving Government of Kenya, African Union and the Government of Japan is already at an advanced stage. To actualize its part of the bargain, the Government of Japan through JICA has already concluded preparatory survey to determine the level of need by the host institution, JKUAT.