Pan African University Commissions First Permanent Rector

Professor Jean Koulidiati, Rector of the Pan African University, was officially commissioned into his new functions in Yaoundé, Cameroon, headquarters of the Rectorate of the Pan African University.

The investiture ceremony of the PAU Rector on 27 October was co-chaired by Professor Mohammed Belhocine, AU Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo, Cameroon’s State Minister of Higher Education.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Belhocine described this ceremony as a milestone as it marked the introduction of the first-ever Rector of the PAU, after several years of interim office assumed by high-profile university scholars at this position.

He recalled that the PAU, as the AU’s flagship academic institution, aspires to become a center of excellence in research and postgraduate education and works towards the injection of high-level human capital for Africa’s growth.

Commissioner Belhocine believed that Prof. Koulidiati’s extensive experience in academia, research, and management made him well-suited to lead the Pan African University.

He also outlined key challenges awaiting the incoming Rector, including aligning with the commitment of AU Heads of State and Government to offer to the African youth a conducive learning and multicultural environment where they will uphold African values of peace, unity, and integration.

On behalf of Moussa AUC Chairperson Faki Mahamat, Prof Belhocine equally expressed the gratitude of the African Union to the Government of Cameroon for hosting the investiture ceremony of the PAU Rector and for its constant support in the operationalization and consolidation of the PAU governance structures.

Students and staff from across PAU Institutes congratulated Prof. Koulidiati, including a delegation from his home country, Burkina Faso.

Welcoming the congratulating words and messages of encouragement, the Rector of the Pan African University, Prof. Koulidiati, pledged to uphold PAU’s mission of nurturing new generations of African leaders and scientists to drive the continent’s prosperity and integration.

He thanked Commissioner Belhocine for his trust and support, and rallied staff, partners, and students to maintain momentum towards PAU’s goals.