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Three of five Pan-African University nodes launched

African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping launched the first three campuses of the Pan-African University at a ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 14 December.

The objective of the launch was to “promote and popularise” the PAU. However, Ping did not mention the expected dates when the three campuses will start teaching their first students.

The PAU will be a graduate school for African researchers, originally envisioned as having five campuses—one in each region of the African continent, each with different focus areas.

The three campuses launched last week are those in east, west and central Africa. The locations of the southern and northern Africa campuses are still under negotiation.

The West Africa campus will focus on life and earth science, including health and agriculture, and will be based at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The East Africa campus, concentrating on basic sciences, technology and innovation, will be located at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Juja, Kenya.

The Central Africa campus will focus on governance, humanities and social science, and it will be based at the University of Yaoundé in Soa, Cameroon.

The PAU will be funded in partnership with Germany, Belgium, Sweden, the European Union and India.

The southern African campus which will specialise in space science was earlier allocated to Stellenbosch University in South Africa. However, the Southern African Development Community, a regional political grouping, questioned the allocation saying they wanted to debate it among themselves first.

The North African campus will be located in Algeria, focusing on water sciences. The hosting campus has not been identified yet.

Ping did not explain why the north and southern campuses were not launched last week along with the rest.