The quest to turnaround centuries-old struggle for Africa’s socio-economic emancipation through higher education and training received new gravitas following graduation of 54 young scholars drawn from 11 countries in Africa under the Pan African University (PAU). The graduands are the first beneficiaries of the graduate training programme initiated by the African Union in 2010 to promote scientific and technological innovation to accelerate Africa’s development.
The PAU scholars were part of 3,027 graduands who were conferred with various degrees during JKUAT’s 24th graduation ceremony, jointly presided over by Dr. Nkozasana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission and Prof. Geoffrey Maloiy, Chancellor, Monday November 24, 2014.
In her farewell message to the graduands, Dr. Zuma noted that it was the young, energetic and innovative youth who would move the continent forward in terms of development. The South African born AU official reminded the graduands the 21st Century was crucial for the continent’s growth and development, hence the need to establish PAU. The initiative to be implemented through institutes domiciled in excellent universities across the continent, Dr. Zuma added, would offer targeted training and research in key areas, in order to unlock Africa’s potential.
Citing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Dr. Zuma reiterated the need for concerted effort by African countries to mobilize human and financial resources in order to surmount current and emerging challenges in the continent.
“Without investments in our human capital, we would not be able to build and maintain our infrastructure such as energy, transport, ICT, irrigation
In his address, Prof. Maloiy challenged the graduands to leverage on their acquired knowledge to make a difference in their various academic fields. He equally nudged Kenyan scholars to espouse virtues of integrity, honesty and industry in their pursuit of academic excellence as a way of attracting research funding; to generate sustainable solutions to local problems.
Education Principal Secretary, Dr. Belio Kipsang lauded the African Union for the establishment of PAU; which he characterized as a milestone in fostering human resource capacity for the continent’s development.
Dr. Kipsang assured African Union that the Government of Kenya was at the forefront in actualization of the JKUAT based PAU Institute of Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation. The government he added had already provided Ksh. 240 million for construction of the PAUSTI complex that will house laboratories and workshops.
In her address, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga reported that JKUAT researchers had developed a number of green energy innovations including a portable low wind speed turbine and a thermal biomass gasifier, to foster rural development.