The Pan African University Council has concluded its Second Ordinary Session at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Council is the highest governing body of the PAU, an African Union flagship programme established to address quality, relevance and excellence in accordance with the Aspiration 1 of Agenda 2063. The meeting deliberated on a list of important policy questions bordering on the implementation of a full-fledged university structure and network, as well as budgetary, financial and administrative issues.
During the meeting, Council members underlined PAU’s status as a continental academic, research and innovation institution which should offer exemplary intellectual leadership for the African higher education system through demonstrating practical relevance to Africa’s current and emerging societal challenges. They discussed the need for the university to be at the vanguard of supporting implementation of national, regional and continental development initiatives such as Africa’s Vision 2063, through research and training of skilled high-level human resources.
The Council also emphasized the need for PAU Institutes to take steps to be ground-breaking, innovative and creative, and to serve as models for other African universities in directing their research and development efforts to solve socio-economic challenges confronting the continent. The PAU Rectorate was therefore tasked to provide the PAU Council annual updates on the achievement of this mandate that will also be in line with new paradigms of development for the continent and the rest of the world.
The PAU Council noted its appreciation of the progress made in efforts to relocate the Rectorate to Yaounde, Cameroon, in accordance with the decision of the January 2015 Summit of the African Union, and through negotiation and consultative engagement between the Commission and the Government of Cameroon. A similar negotiation process is underway between the Government of South Africa and the African Union Commission to establish the PAU Institute for Space Sciences in South Africa.
The Commission has launched a process to recruit permanent academic staff, as well as a Rector and Vice Rector for the PAU, an effort the Council supports and calls for its expeditious implementation. Friday’s Council meeting also called for the promotion of gender mainstreaming at all levels, the establishment of a dedicated Gender Unit at PAU, and the identification of responsible coordinators for the PAU institutes to assist in the development of a Gender dimension programme and action plan.
The 2nd Ordinary Session of the PAU Council witnessed the induction of new members, after the Council membership was expanded following the amendment of the University’s Statute at the January 2016 Summit of the African Union, to make the Council more inclusive and representative of the spectrum of stakeholders.Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).