African Union finally launches Pan-African university By ARGAW ASHINE | Thursday, December 15  2011 at  20:10

Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology that will host Africa Union's institution for the study of basic sciences, technology and innovation. FILE | AFRICA REVIEW 

The African Union Thursday launched a Pan-African University as part of its strategy to speed up regional integration.

At a ceremony in Addis Ababa, the organisation announced five regional universities that will host the different fields of studies of the continental institution.

In the arrangement, South Africa will host the space science component of the university with oil rich Algeria hosting the college of water and energy sciences.

Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is expected to take in the study of basic sciences, technology and innovation.

Nigeria's University of Ibadan will host the college for life and earth sciences.

Representing the Central Africa region is the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon, that has been offered the school for governance, humanities and social sciences.

To ensure coordination and smooth operation of the different components will be the AU Commission for Human Resources, Science and Technology.

Mooted in 2005, the Pan-African University is designed to boost education standards, science and technological innovations across African to facilitate faster regional integration and development.

Achievements

AU chief Jean Ping said that the realisation of Pan-African University marked the positive achievement of the the union's dream.

Most of the funding was from the European Union and AU member states.

At the unveiling event, AU also honoured seven African women for their outstanding achievements in science among them Ms Etheresia Pretorius of South Africa for electron microscopy research into inflammations in the human body.

Others who were awarded were Rose Gana Fomban Leke of Cameroon, Ebtehal El-Demerdash of Egypt; Dosso Mireille Carmen and Kakou Yao Ritaof both from Cote d'Ivoire, for their contributions to science.

Maureen Coetzee of South Africa and Nermin El Semary of Egypt were singled out for their outstanding scientific research achievements.

Winners received $20,000 cash prize each and a medal from the AU.