Pan-African University unveils governing council

PAU president calls move 'historic, revolutionary step'

Pan-African University unveils governing council

World Bulletin / News Desk

The African Union (AU) on Thursday inaugurated – albeit belatedly – the 28-member governing council of the Pan-African University (PAU), which will represent the four-year-old university’s highest governing body.

The council was formally inaugurated at a Thursday ceremony at the AU’s Addis Ababa headquarters.

The event was attended by Martial De Paul Ikounga, AU commissioner for human resources, science and technology, along with PAU President Tolly S. Mbwette and PAU Vice-President Paulo de Carvalho.

Council members, each of whom will sit for a three-year term, are drawn from a wide spectrum of stakeholders.

These include representatives of the AU Commission; AU member states; regional economic blocs; PAU administration, staff and students; host universities; partners; academics; the private sector; the African diaspora; and civil society.

The PAU was initially founded based upon recommendations made by AU heads of state and government in 2010. It first opened its doors four years ago, admitting its first batch of students who graduated last year.

‘Flagship project’

At Thursday’s ceremony, Mbwette said the inauguration of the PAU’s governing council represented “a historic, revolutionary step by this august African institution.”

“[We] pledge to deploy our utmost energy, experience and know-how to execute the functions expected of the PAU council as the university’s highest governing body,” Mbwette asserted.

He went on to refer to the PAU as “a flagship project of the African Union.”

With campuses in Nairobi, Kenya and Ibadan, Nigeria, the PAU hopes to eventually run 54 tertiary education institutions across the continent from its planned headquarters in Yaunde, Cameroon.

When voicing his appreciation for the PAU’s “key partners,” Mbwette cited the African Development Bank and the EU, along with the the German, Japanese, Indian and Swedish governments.

The African Union (AU) on Thursday inaugurated – albeit belatedly – the 28-member governing council of the Pan-African University (PAU), which will represent the four-year-old university’s highest governing body.

The council was formally inaugurated at a Thursday ceremony at the AU’s Addis Ababa headquarters.

The event was attended by Martial De Paul Ikounga, AU commissioner for human resources, science and technology, along with PAU President Tolly S. Mbwette and PAU Vice-President Paulo de Carvalho.

Council members, each of whom will sit for a three-year term, are drawn from a wide spectrum of stakeholders.

These include representatives of the AU Commission; AU member states; regional economic blocs; PAU administration, staff and students; host universities; partners; academics; the private sector; the African diaspora; and civil society.

The PAU was initially founded based upon recommendations made by AU heads of state and government in 2010. It first opened its doors four years ago, admitting its first batch of students who graduated last year.

- ‘Flagship project’

At Thursday’s ceremony, Mbwette said the inauguration of the PAU’s governing council represented “a historic, revolutionary step by this august African institution.”

“[We] pledge to deploy our utmost energy, experience and know-how to execute the functions expected of the PAU council as the university’s highest governing body,” Mbwette asserted.

He went on to refer to the PAU as “a flagship project of the African Union.”

With campuses in Nairobi, Kenya and Ibadan, Nigeria, the PAU hopes to eventually run 54 tertiary education institutions across the continent from its planned headquarters in Yaunde, Cameroon.

When voicing his appreciation for the PAU’s “key partners,” Mbwette cited the African Development Bank and the EU, along with the the German, Japanese, Indian and Swedish governments.

Challenges

Financing has proven to be the university’s most pressing challenge. At Thursday’s ceremony, Ikounga admitted that funding shortfalls had delayed the council’s establishment.

Thanks to the university’s partners, however, the problem, he said, had been largely resolved.  

“The PAU has allocated $100 million for the coming three years,” he said, going on to assert that the university “should be primarily be financed by Africans.”

“[AU] Member states should contribute to the PAU’s operations beginning the next fiscal year,” he said.

According to Mbwette, the new university must also take steps to raise its international profile.

“We have to work hard to make sure we publicize this project,” the university president told Anadolu Agency. “Without publicizing it, people who may benefit in Africa may not even know about the PAU.”

What’s more, since the PAU is an AU project, some observers have questioned whether the university – or its governing council – would enjoy full academic independence.

At an earlier press conference, Ikounga had said that the PAU was “different from the AU,” going on to stress that the new university council would operate free of continental politics.

Financing has proven to be the university’s most pressing challenge. At Thursday’s ceremony, Ikounga admitted that funding shortfalls had delayed the council’s establishment.

Thanks to the university’s partners, however, the problem, he said, had been largely resolved.  

“The PAU has allocated $100 million for the coming three years,” he said, going on to assert that the university “should be primarily be financed by Africans.”

“[AU] Member states should contribute to the PAU’s operations beginning the next fiscal year,” he said.

According to Mbwette, the new university must also take steps to raise its international profile.

“We have to work hard to make sure we publicize this project,” the university president told Anadolu Agency. “Without publicizing it, people who may benefit in Africa may not even know about the PAU.”

What’s more, since the PAU is an AU project, some observers have questioned whether the university – or its governing council – would enjoy full academic independence.

At an earlier press conference, Ikounga had said that the PAU was “different from the AU,” going on to stress that the new university council would operate free of continental politics.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Haziran 2015, 15:57
YORUM EKLE