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Pan african university support project


  • Reference: P-Z1-IAD-010
  • Approval date: 24/07/2013
  • Start date: 12/12/2013
  • Appraisal Date: 30/03/2013
  • Status: OngoingOnGo
  • Location: AFRICA


After a selection process on a competitive basis (request for proposals, proposals submission, proposal reviews) and readiness, it was decided that the following first three PAU Institutes will be established:

(i) PAU Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (PAU-STI) hosted by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT);

(ii) the PAU Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (PAU-GHSS) hosted by the University of Yaoundé 2; and

(iii) PAU Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (PAU-LES) hosted by the University of Ibadan (UI). The selection of the host country in the Southern African region (Space sciences) is in progress.

The project will be comprised of three components:

Component 1: Support to science and technology programmes. This component will support the following two thematic areas of the PAU:

(i) Basic sciences, Technology and Innovation, the East African Hub (PAU-STI) hosted by the Jomo Kenyatta University in Nairobi; and Earth and Life Sciences including health and agriculture, the West African Hub (PAU-LES) hosted by the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

Component 2: Support to Governance and regional integration programme. This component will support the Central African thematic hub (PAU-GHSS) hosted by the University of Yaoundé 2, in Cameroon. Under these two components, the project will support several activities including: curriculum and course development, lab and workshop equipment, broadband ICT platform (networking equipment; international connectivity; training technical staff for maintenance), library equipment and material, teacher and researcher exchange programmes, linkages with the industry including the creation of conditions for incubation and emergence of start ups leading to more SMEs and new jobs. A scholarship programme will be established to provide financial support to all students admitted to the PAU. Content of the scholarship package, as well as duration and criteria for eligibility are being defined to ensure equitable regional distribution and gender balance. Networking of the PAU institutions as well as distance learning will be enhanced through the establishment of the PAU-NET platform.

Component 3: Project Management. This component will support the implementation of the overall PAU governance structure and the management of the specific ADF financed project. The PAU governance structure will consist of a University Council, a Rectorate coordinating the thematic hubs and a Senate. The project will support the operationalization of the PAU governance structure through the sensitization of the partner institutions, staff recruitment and training; establishing IT based administrative and financial procedures, including Management Information System (MIS). The project will also support

(i) the AUC Department of Human Resources Science and Technology as a coordinating agency for the PAU support project and

(ii) the thematic PAU Institutes as executing agencies in each country

(iii) preparation and update of business plans and

(iv) impact evaluation and thematic studies.


The development objective is to increase Africa's competitiveness and growth through the creation of high quality higher education and research capabilities. The specific objectives are

(i) to establish a world-class regional university system serving the entire continent in key development fields;

(ii) to strengthen regional integration through increased mobility of highly skilled persons; and

(iii) to increase the productivity and social impacts of African researchers and strengthen African innovative capacity.


The AfDB HEST strategy aims at assisting RMCs in developing the necessary science and technology oriented skills to increase economic competitiveness and sustain growth. To achieve this objective the following pillars have been identified:

(ii) support to National and Regional Centres of Excellence;

(ii) building Infrastructure and upgrading equipment for HEST;

(iii) linking HEST and the productive sector. The scope of the activities in the project makes fit within all the pillars. More specifically the PAU will accelerate the regional approach through the promotion of regional integration and cooperation in Africa and the increasing mobility of skilled labour. The Pan Africa University is also in line with the AU's Strategic plan for the Decade (2006-2015) and the Consolidated AU and NEPAD's Action Plan for ICTs. It provides a conceptual framework to build excellence in African higher education and research. It is based on upgrading selected existing institutions of higher education and research and developing collaboration with other initiatives/centers of excellence through a network of networks approach. The idea has been bought in and endorsed by African Government at the highest level (COMEDAF). The projects fits within the African Development Bank's priorities as expressed in the Mid term Strategic Plan (2008-2012).

The rationale for Bank involvement in this project is as follows:

(i)The proposed project is in accordance with the three pillars of the Bank's Strategy for Higher Education, Science and Technology.

(ii)The Panafrican University will facilitate regional integration in Africa;

(iii)There is an endorsement and political commitment of the AU and African Governments at the highest level;

(iv)The project corresponds to development priorities of the countries. It also responds to the recommendations of the High Level Panel on ADB's future .


Outcomes of the project include:

(i) continental-wide and world-class graduate and post-graduate programmes in science, technology, innovation, human and social sciences;

(ii) collaborative, internationally competitive, cutting-edge fundamental and development oriented research, in areas having a direct bearing on the technical, economic, and social development of Africa.

(iii) enhanced mobility of students, lecturers, researchers and administrative staff between African Universities to improve on teaching, leadership, and collaborative research;

(iv) improved capacity of present and future African Union stakeholders;

(v) enhanced attractiveness of African higher education and research institutions for effective development and retention of young African talent, while attracting the best intellectual capital from across the globe, including the African diaspora; and

(vi) a dynamic and productive partnership with public and private sectors. The project aims at improving quality, relevance and attractiveness of academic programmes. So it is expected to have a catalytic effect on the development of higher education and research in the various geographic and academic contexts in the continent. While improving quality the project will promote regional integration of academic and research programmes, the mobility of students and staff, and the development of common mechanism for quality insurance and the setiing-up of a common accreditation system. It is also expected to help curb and reverse the brain drain.

Key contacts



Finance source Amount
ADFUAC 30,000,000
GovernmentUAC 44,260,000
Co-financierUAC 28,570,000
TotalUAC 102,830,000
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