Zimbabwe and its Sadc neighbours are haggling over which country should host the Pan Africa University (PAU), which seeks to promote science and technology in Africa and a strong link between scientific research and economic development.
Sadc is set to become a regional hub for space sciences, but the host country is still to be found, and the delay could disadvantage the 14-member Sadc bloc against the other four hubs – North Africa, East Africa, West Africa and Central Africa — that have already chosen host nations.
Conference of African Ministers of Education of the African Union (AU) chairperson Sam Ongeri said Sadc had disagreed on a host country hence they had given the bloc enough time to consult. But, the move could throw off-rail plans by the AU to admit science students next year, a move that is set to enhance the triple missions of modern universities around the world.
The disagreement borders on whether South Africa should host, while others believe another country should benefit from the initiative.
In North Africa, Algeria will host the water and energy sciences, East Africa’s Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya, will host basic sciences, technology and innovation; and life and earth sciences, including health and agriculture, will be hosted by Ibadan University in Nigeria while governance, humanities and social sciences will be hosted by University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon.