BY OMONU NELSON, Abuja
African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, AUST, is set to graduate, today, 12 female students sponsored by the African Capacity Building Foundation, ACBF, to study for postgraduate degrees in science and technology.
The aim of the gesture, according to information from the ACBF, is to empower the female folk, so as to enable them contribute to Africa’s drive towards transformation as they join 86 others to graduate on Saturday, December 9, during AUST’s seventh commencement ceremony to be held in Abuja.
The students were drawn from Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The students were offered full scholarship by ACBF in the 2016/2017 academic year. Today’s ceremony climaxed the successful completion of their Master of Science degrees in Computer Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Pure and Applied Mathematics, and Theoretical and Applied Physics.
The 12 graduating students today, bring to 69, the number of post-graduates trained by the ACBF at estimated cost of $1million, since 2013. Previous graduates are adjudged to be Africa’s most innovative scientists and engineers. Fifteen of those have since graduated with PhDs.
The 12 ACBF graduating students were selected under the ACBF Foundation’s scholarship programme for young African women to propel Africa to actively support skills building in the critical fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, in order to enable the continent achieve its own development.
To attest to the quality of the programme, one of this year’s scholars supported by ACBF has won a prestigious “Debut in Research: Young Talents from Africa Prize” instituted by the Italian energy and engineering giant Eni to promote and reward research and technological innovation in the fields of energy and environment. The winner is Blessing Onyeche Ugwoke who just completed her M.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering.
The Italian President formally presented her with the prize on October 5. Ms. Ugwoke credited her success in winning the Eni Award to ACBF’s scholarship, which enabled her to benefit from a world-class programme offered at AUST. “The ACBF study grant paved the way for me with respect to advancing my academic career.
It is a wonderful initiative from ACBF and it is forever changing lives,” she said. “With the research skills I have now gained that helped me get the ENI award and a PhD scholarship in Italy, I hope to further my research to proffer modern solutions to energy deficiencies especially in the rural parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.”
ACBF was set up by 54 African countries to promote capacity building development.