The executive secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono has affirmed the Fund’s commitment to the development of technology in the African sub-region.
Echono stated this when the African Union Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Mohammed Belhocine along with officials from the Pan African University paid him a visit in his office in Abuja.
The executive secretary said that, “The government of Nigeria thinks in the direction of promoting technology and we are in the process of establishing a national institute here in Abuja. There will be a post graduate institution, which is also intended to stimulate the technological transformation of our country.
“The Pan African University also fits into this general framework, and we believe the partnership will enable us to learn one or two things to attract the right faculties and the right scholars into the University, and how we can also build on that”, he added.
According to him, the Fund was delighted with the philosophy and approach of the Pan African University towards creating more Pan African Universities for young African students, which will yield a more beneficial and prosperous future for the country and committed to forge a relationship with the Pan African University to push the African Union (AU) agenda and that of the university forward.
He said, ‘I can assure you that as soon as we get your request, we should be able to build on that and forge the right partnership that will enable us to push the idea of the African Union forward.
I would like to assure you that within the framework that we have, we will give you the maximum support to make that building functional as soon as possible”.
In his remarks, Professor Mohammed Belhocine expressed gratitude to TETFund for its support to the Pan African University sited at the University of Ibadan, saying it wouldn’t have been possible without the Fund’s support.
He said, “We are very grateful for that. We are sure that it will create better working conditions for our Pan African University. Nigeria has been one of the advocates for the creation of this University, which is now 10 years in existence.”
“The Pan African University is very important in terms of bringing young Africans together, because so far, we have been able to train more than 1500 Master’s Degree holders in different fields of study, and more than 400 PhDs. And these people come from 50 different nationalities. That is the most important thing for us. It’s not about technical performance, but more about how we are bringing young Africans together.
“When these Africans come together for a curriculum of 4-5 years, they get to know each other better, their cultures, their languages, and their beliefs and this creates the idea of Pan Africanism”, Professor Belhocine noted.