With over 2000 students enrolled in the Pan African University (PAU), the African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Mohammed Belhocine believes the University needs more strengthening, support and sustainability for the growth of the continent.
“The elite of our youth drawn from various countries in the continent are converging in the PAU institutes and if they are well equipped with Pan-Africanism values they will be vital in driving the African development agenda as envisioned in Agenda 2063,” said Prof. Belhocine when he paid an official visit to JKUAT, the host of the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI).
While meeting the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, the Commissioner thanked JKUAT for the support they have accorded PAUSTI over the years and appreciated the research collaboration between faculty of JKUAT and PAUSTI students.
“Research and innovation is vital in finding solutions to the challenges facing the continent. To take our research a notch higher, it is important to encourage the students to patent the innovations they develop,” said Prof. Belhocine.
On sustainability, the commissioner added that the African Union will engage with the private sector players in Africa for funding and link the graduates of PAU with job markets through the engagement.
On her part, Prof. Ngumi assured the Commissioner of JKUAT’s continued support saying hosting the Institute has been one of the successful collaborations in the University.
“Our faculty have extended their expertise to PAUSTI which has enabled them to delve into collaborative research with other researchers around the continent for the betterment of society,” attested Prof. Ngumi.
Echoing the words of Prof. Belhocine, Prof. Ngumi said JKUAT has been at the forefront in fostering a culture of research and innovation among faculty and students and has always encouraged them to patent their innovations.
President of PAU Council, Prof. Kenneth Matengui, lauded the programmes being offered in PAUSTI saying they are responsive, relevant and key in addressing the challenges facing the continent.
Prof. Belhocine had the chance to tour the PAUSTI facilities and talk to the new cohort of students joining the Institute. He advised the student to take advantage of the scholarship, be self-confident and go the extra mile for their country and continent at large with regard to development.
Prof. Belhocine was accompanied by the President of PAU Council, Prof. Kenneth Matengui, Director, Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr. Hambani Mashelani and PAU, Senior and Academic and Student Affairs Officer, Dr. Gilles Ogandaga. They were welcomed to JKUAT by Prof. Ngumi, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance, Prof. Bernard Ikua and Director, PAUSTI Prof. Gabriel Magoma among others.