The African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria, awarded four Liberian students graduate degrees in materials science and petroleum engineering at its 8th Commencement Convocation on Monday, July 1, 2019.
A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says Francis Abu Amara and Abraham M. Bility, who attended the program, respectively earned the Master’s in petroleum engineering and materials science and engineering.
According to the release, the two other students had returned to Liberia on research assignments. They are Mohammed Kamara, who received the Master’s degree in materials science and engineering, and Mohammed B. Dukuly, who bagged the Post-Graduate Diploma in materials science and engineering.
The four Liberian graduates are beneficiaries of the Nigerian Technical Cooperation Fund Grant under the Department of Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA). The duo bring to 22 the number of Liberians, who have specialized in the fields of petroleum engineering and materials science at the AUST since 2013, the release recalls.
Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Al-Hassan Conteh, and the embassy’s First Secretary, Daniel Rogers, witnessed the commencement exercise.
Amb. Conteh congratulated the students on behalf the government and people of Liberia and encouraged them to return home to contribute their quota to Liberia’s ongoing development, the release adds.
The Commencement Speaker was Dr. Acha Leke, a renowned Cameroonian scientist, who is the cofounder and member of the Global Advisory Council of the African Leadership Academy and Senior Partner of McKinsey and Company.
Leke referred to the graduates as the “fourth generation of African leaders.”
According to the release, he challenged them to build on the advances made by the third generation of African leaders, who are now transforming Africa from the second generation, who governed under conditions of military coups and civil wars.
The first generation, Dr. Leke said were the founding fathers of African liberation from the yoke of colonialism. He noted that Africa is on the rise based on social, economic, and demographic evidence.
He reminded the students that Africa needed them and was counting on them to lead the change the continent so desperately desires.
The AUST is a Pan-African University, established in 2007 in response to a request from African Heads of State to effectuate the vision of the late South African President Nelson Mandela in training the next generation of African leaders in science and technology.
Subsequently, the World Bank and the African Union set up Nelson Mandela Research Institutes in Africa as centers of excellence to improve sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity in a variety of scientific fields. As the first of these Centers, the AUST offers graduate programs in computer science, materials science and engineering, theoretical and applied physics, pure and applied mathematics, and petroleum engineering.
It draws its students and faculty from across Africa with its well-established international network of scientists and engineers who serve as visiting faculty.