MESSAGE FROM THE RECTOR
On behalf of the whole AAUCA community, I would like to extend to you the warmest welcome to the Afro-American University of Central Africa (AAUCA).AAUCA is the culmination of the bold vision of S.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to make the University one of the most prestigious universities in Africa, as well as to position AAUCA at the edge of higher education at global level, by exhibiting results of educational excellence and impacts derived from its research agenda. AAUCA aspires to foster the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, highly-internationalized and transformative educational experience. The Government is supported in this journey by UNESCO with whom it has signed a Cooperation Agreement, especially during its important formative phase.
AAUCA is a very bold and important undertaking for the future of Equatorial Guinea, the region, Africa, and beyond. The Covid-19 pandemic provides an opportunity for universities to re-examine old models and adopt technology solutions to influence all aspects of education delivery, teaching and learning, and assessment and credentials. Dealing with the pandemic should go beyond the immediate crisis to initiate far-reaching reforms to strengthen the resilience of education and training systems. Post Covid-19, the importance for universities to look at a Quadruple Helix approach, and further strengthen its relations with 4 major partners, namely universities, the private sector, the civil society and the global collaborative network is being stressed. We must take an active and reflective role in this new landscape of teaching and learning in the so-called new normal after the pandemic we are now facing.AAUCA is committed to help the country to utilise its high development potential in several sectors in addition to the gas and oil sector, such as tourism, agriculture, fisheries, and financial services among other areasin making Equatorial Guinea the Innovation & Commerce Hub of West Africa.
I strongly believe in collaborative and purposive education and research which means outcome-based learning with high societal relevance and impact which will at the same time require high quality teaching and learning of international standard. The characteristics of a truly international university includes among others a diversity of international partnerships, international students and staff and multiple collaborative activities; universities with satellite offices in the form of branch campuses, research centres and management or project offices among others.It also requires that we all are creative and entrepreneurial in our teaching and learning activities and value openness for inputs from the outside world including those from many professionals from the work places. Universities should act as the engine of not only the competitiveness of our societies, but also the expansion of global citizenship, equality and opportunity for all.
The importance of the third mission of universitieswhich refers to the social, enterprise, and innovative activities thatuniversities perform in addition to teaching and research tasks has gained much more prominence. Many forward looking universities have even framed their institutional strategies around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we at AAUCA also support this.This is important because our lives here in Equatorial Guinea cannot be separated from the future of the rest of the world: we share the same changing climate; we contract and spread the same diseases; we participate in the same economy. The values that the university is built on are exactly those that are crucial for our ability to promote research and education that span generations and beyond geographical boundaries. They are about tolerance, empathy, inclusiveness and empowerment, transparency and human values which are fundamental for us to understand our past and present and to prepare for the future. This can be realized only if we can act not just as students and faculty and staff, but as citizens of the AAUCA, accountable to one another, for we constitute the university that in turn defines our opportunities.
I am confident that AAUCA will make a significant contribution and impact on the society of Equatorial Guinea, which has been on a path of transformation in recent years. All of us at AAUCA will continuously strive to live up to the aspirations of the Government of Equatorial Guinea in making AAUCA a showcase university for the nation.
Prof. Dr. Said Irandoust, PhD.