Commissioner Ikounga discusses mutual collaboration with delegation from the University of Geneva

By African Union Commission (AUC)

His Excellency Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union received Professor Yves Fl├╝ckiger, Rector of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), who was at the head of a delegation representing different scientific disciplines of the University. The two sides discussed various areas of academic cooperation between the African Union Commission and UNIGE, with particular emphasis on the Pan African University (PAU). Commissioner Ikounga welcomed the ongoing effort by the University of Geneva to develop scientific research with African universities and between them, in the context of triangular cooperation.

The AUC and UNIGE are finalizing negotiations on a draft Memorandum of Understanding, which provides the framework and the principles of collaboration between the two parties, with the goal of developing a joint program on the sharing of experience and good practice in advanced research, broad focus areas outlined in the African Union's Agenda 2063, and related fields of scholarship. The MOU will serve as the basis to pursue the mutual objectives of the two parties and provide suitable working mechanisms for the realization of these objectives.

UNIGE is one of Europe's leading universities offering a range of programs and fostering multi-disciplinary activities. It has built a reputation for excellence in teaching and research, and is embarking on a strategy to deepen cooperation and partnership with African countries and institutions of higher learning. Under this framework, UNIGE has introduced a Master of Arts program in African Studies, which is broadly underpinned by courses in Africa's history, political economy and environment.

With coordination by the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, the African Union Commission will explore possibilities of building linkages and fostering productive collaboration between its thematic institutions and programs and the University of Geneva. The Pan African University, which is an AU multi-locational university with thematic hubs across Africa's five geographic regions, will play a central role in this partnership. PAU offers scholarships to African students for postgraduate training in core sciences, technology, innovation, research, social sciences, governance and humanities, with mandatory courses on the History of Africa, Gender, and Human Rights. These and other existing AUC capacity building programs are expected to provide a solid foundation for fruitful collaboration between the Commission and the University of Geneva.