AUST to Inaugurate N2bn Lab Next Month

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Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

The President, African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, Prof. Kingston Nyamapfene, has announced the university’s plan to inaugurate a state-of-the-art science and technology laboratory worth N2 billion on March 30.

He said the laboratory equipment was realised through donations from its partners some of whom included the federal government, African Development Bank, World Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa.

Briefing journalists on activities marking the 10th anniversary of the institution in Abuja, Nyampfene said AUST has graduated 332 masters and 22 PhD holders from 19 different African countries.

He said AUST is a Pan-African institution, established in 2007 in response to a request from Nelson Mandela of South Africa and several African heads of state, that the World Bank and the African Union work together to create strong Pan-African centres of excellence to improve Sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity in science and technology.

He said the institution was the first of the centres of excellence to be established in Africa, adding that currently it only offers postgraduate programmes at masters and PhD levels.

“The university offers world-class research in specially selected science and engineering disciplines. The research is designed to have an African focus, targeting African problems and finding solutions that have a strong African flavour.

The president said AUST’s catchment area is therefore not Nigeria, but the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. “AUST represents a new way of doing things in the higher education sector in Africa. We emphasize academic excellence, accountability and transparency.

“Our philosophy is also to go beyond just science and ensure that we produce people with entrepreneurial flair and a compassionate spirit to help transform communities and improve the human condition across Africa. Well-established international network of scientists and engineers who serve as visiting faculty.

“As part of its quality assurance structures, the university also draws on the knowledge, experience and wisdom of a global interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers, members of the African Scientific Committee (ASC) and an International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB).”

To further ensure quality, he said students are not automatically admitted on the basis of the paper qualifications, but they have to go through a competitive entrance examination for the MSc and doctoral candidates.

On the university’s achievements in the last 10 years, he said: “Specific examples include the work of Kwabena Kan-Dapaah on implantable composite devices for the localized treatment of breast cancer; John David Obayemi’s work on nano particles for breast cancer detection and treatment.

“The work of Salifu Azeko centered on biodegradation and recycling of polyethylene into composite building materials; and Vitalis Chioh Anye’s research work on pressure-assisted fabrication of organic light emitting devices. Arthur Emanuel Kwesi’s work on surface hardening of AISI of 860 steel with cassava waste using micro-nano mechanical and micro-cyanide, the bamboo bicycle, conceptualized, designed and also produced at AUST.”