Algeria and Germany are committed to establish Pan African University

Jul 1, 2013

On July 27 in Berlin, AU-Commissioner Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) together with Professor Dr. Rachid Haraoubia, Algerian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Dirk Niebel, German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) about the establishment of the Pan African University – Institute for Water, Energy and Climate Change (PAUWES) at the Abou Bakr Belkaïd University of Tlemcen, Algeria.

Germany has pledged additional 20 Million Euro to upgrade the general infrastructure, provide laboratories and teaching equipment, scholarship funds for students and doctoral candidates as well as academic personnel cost for PAUWES. This financial cooperation will be implemented through KfW Development Bank.

AU-Commissioner De-Paul Ikounga, German Development Minister Niebel and Algerian Minister of Higher Education Haroubia Enlarge image AU-Commissioner De-Paul Ikounga, German Development Minister Niebel and Algerian Minister of Higher Education Haroubia (© BMZ) During the high level meeting on PAUWES today in Berlin, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) emphasized: “The German Government considers the establishment of the Pan African University (PAU) together with the African Union and Algeria as a flagship project of innovative cooperation. With PAU we are striving for excellence in higher education and research to address the central needs for sustainable development of Africa. Water and Energy are not only key areas of the German cooperation with African Countries. This areas are also priorities for the private sector as well as Science and Technology in Germany. Together Germany can contribute a lot to the success of PAUWES”.

Dr. De-Paul Ikounga und Prof. Haraoubia hinted at the lack of capacities in Africa: “the overarching aim of PAU is to develop African solutions by Africans, in Africa and for Africa”.

Recently, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mrs Dlamini-Zuma emphasised that “Education and skills development is at the heart of our regeneration efforts. The Pan African University and the general expansion of our higher education sector will equip our young people with critical abilities to drive innovation, sciences, entrepreneurship, research, social development and industrialization.” 

The PAU, an initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), is envisaged as an academic continental network of higher education institutes of excellence for postgraduate studies and advanced research at the core of Africa’s development.

It will use existing Higher Education Institutions as hubs and linked satellite institutions across the continent to train Master and PhD students and to promote research. PAU shall be open for students from all African countries. Exchange and cooperation programs shall be developed for academic staff as well as joint research projects. It is also envisaged to achieve international visibility and competitiveness.

The impact of PAU will ultimately counter brain drain through improving the quality of higher education and research, the increasing attractiveness of the “academic workplace” as well as the employability of its graduates by the public and private sector on the continent.

The thematic hubs will be located in North, West, East, Central and Southern Africa. For each thematic area covering one hub and up to ten satellite centres, the AU will cooperate with an international partner, the so-called “Lead Thematic Partners” (LTP) which will not exclude other partners who may wish to join.

The African Union Commission has selected Germany as Lead Thematic Partner for the Pan African Institute of Water and Energy Sciences, including climate change (PAUWES). Germany already supports the AUC Commission and the PAU-Rectorate and will begin to support the hub in Northern Africa, the PAU Institute of Water, Energy Sciences and Climate Change at the Abou Bakr Belkaïd University of Tlemcen in Algeria

Germany provides direct advisory services and support to PAUWES, the Department of Human Resources Science and Technology at the AUC Commission and the PAU Rectorate during the founding phase of PAUWES. The German Government has already pledged 9 Million Euro for Technical Cooperation. Implemented through GIZ.

© German Embassy Addis Abeba

Are you interested in being regularly updated?

An easy option for you might be to subscribe to our biweekly GIC Africa newsletter.