Friday, April 2, 2010

If you educate a girl, Part IV

In December, 2009, AUST (the African University of Science and Technology) in Abuja, Nigeria, celebrated its first graduation. 42 students received graduate degrees (MS and PGD [post graduate diploma]) in the fields of computer science, materials sci-
ence and engineering, mathe-
matics, petroleum engineering and theoretical physics. They came from several sub-Saharan African countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda).

While we celebrate the fact that the first batch of students is out we cannot ignore the fact that only 2 of the 42 were women. It is noteworthy that one of these women, Azeb Demisi Habte, was recognized as the graduate with the Overall Best Student Research Project.

We can be optimistic about the future. The picture above shows that the number of women in the second batch of students has increased. Since AUST aspires to be a leading institution of science and technology, we expect these young women will be role models. We also acknowledge the fact that the Chair of the AUST Board of Trustees is a woman: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (see picture), Managing Director, World Bank Group.

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