The Africa Union Commission (AUC) Commissioner in charge of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, (ESTI), Prof. Mohammed Belhocine, has called on African students to ensure survival of the continent.
Speaking on Monday in Ibadan during his visit to the Pan African University Life and Earth Science Institute, hosted by the University of Ibadan Prof. Belhocine, urged them to do their best to transform Africa.
“Nowadays, we are in a world where only big groups can survive and if Africa doesn’t come as one, it will never survive.
“It is your duty to make Africa one big compact whose voice is listened abroad and whose stance is recognised and respected, as there is no place for weak countries and no place for weak blocs in the world we are living in.
“So, let us transform our continent into our haven of peace, prosperity and growth to ensure that we are not stalled by all the problems of the world as it was the case in the past.
“We deserve a better future and you deserve a better future and your descendants also deserve a better future and this is in your hand.
“The best you can do is work the easier way for us to achieve the Africa we want in 2063 which is the desire of the Africa Union.
“The future of Africa is in your hands, the more you do well, the better for yourselves and your countries,” Belhocine said.
He said that PAU established about 10 years ago have four institutes in different regions of the continent, and has been fostering cultural diversity, which has been an added value, engendering interaction and collaboration among young Africans.
Belhocine said the uniqueness about Pan African University (PAU) institutes has been that it offers post-graduate education in the areas not offered by the host universities, meaning that the selected topics have been considered as strategic to the development of Africa.
He said that PAU Institutes, being a young university, are facing major challenges including sustainable financing, good governance and workforce.
“We don’t have enough full-time recruited lecturers and researchers and we are going to work on that to make it happen,” Belhocine said.
Also, Prof. Kenneth Matengu, President, PAU Council, said the Institutes have been leveraging technology to surmount the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matengu said: “What we have done is to deploy online resources that will allow for assessment, learning and teaching to be done and this has meant re-training our academics to be able to deliver online on a separate learning platform.
“This has been a case of investing in learning infrastructure to make this happen.”
Also, Mr Hambani Masheleni, the Acting Director, ESTI, AUC said the mission has always been education for Africa.
“A number of instrument has been put in place to ensure that we raise the importance of education and we make education more responsive to AUC agenda,” Masheleni said.