On 29th January 2014, H.E. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Mr. Norio Mitsuya, Parliamentary Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and H.E. Dr. Martial De Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on the development of the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and innovation (PAUSTI) located at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya at the African Union New Conference Centre.
The Pan African University (PAU) is a new generation university with Institutes located in the five regions of the African continent with the aim of revitalizing higher education and research in Africa. PAU is intended to provide a paradigm for excellence in higher education and research for the development of high calibre youthful human capital and generation of knowledge products for Africa’s social and economic development. The focus of PAU is on Higher Education creation of a global pool of innovation and enhances relevance. Key strategies involved include strengthening research collaboration through external links, training and retention and ensuring local relevance.
During the signing of the Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, H.E. Amina Mohamed the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade lauded the process and reiterated the Government of the Republic of Kenya’s political and financial commitment in ensuring the successful operationalization of the Pan African University Institute of Basic Science and Technology.
She noted that the conclusion of this Memorandum of Understanding serves to strengthen as well as demonstrate the priority the government of the Republic of Kenya that early exposure to technology will inspire future innovation and act as a catalyst for growth and prosperity.
In his remarks, H.E. Commissioner Ikounga pointed out the centrality of PAUSTI within the PAU network, because Innovation is a transversal skill that will be part of the branding of the PAU, as it is necessary for ensuring that PAU achieves its mission of contributing to Africa’s vision of prosperity through the harnessing of sciences and technology.
Mr. Norio Mitsuya noted that Japan has a long history of working closely with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), and that the Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding will enable the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to start providing technical support to PAUSTI through the promotion of innovation activities at JKUAT.
Under the tripartite MOU, the Republic of Japan will provide technical supports that include staff training and provision of scientific equipment. The expected field of Japan’s assistance include dispatching of both long-term and short-term experts in biotechnology and engineering respectively, providing both long-term and short-term training in Japan for young researchers and technical staff at JKUAT/PAUSTI, providing equipment in the basic science ,technology and innovation, among others. The tripartite agreement becomes effective immediately for a period of five years.