Supporting the Pan African University and the Institute of Water and Energy Sciences – including Climate Change (PAUWES)

Project description

Title: Support to the Pan African University (PAU)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Country: Africa (supraregional); Algeria, Cameroon​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: Education, Science, Technology & Innovation Department (ESTI) of the African Union Commission (AUC), Rectorate of the Pan African University​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2011 to 2022

Graduation of the second year group at PAUWES in 2017.


The field of higher education in Africa lacks high-quality graduate and doctoral programmes that comply with international standards. Additionally there is a limited vulgarisation of applied research and of knowledge sharing. African academics play a limited role in the international scientific community.

It is often difficult for graduates to enter the labour market as universities fail to promote networks with the private sector. Talented graduates therefore usually pursue a career outside of Africa, so their potential is largely lost to the African economy.

The African Union Commission (AUC) responded to this by founding the Pan African University (PAU) in 2008, an institution designed to lead in teaching and research and to contribute to Africa’s social and economic development.


PAU’s role as a model for higher education and quality research in Africa has been improved. Its promotion of entrepreneurship and employment among its graduates has been enhanced.

PAU and its Institute for Water and Energy Sciences – including Climate Change (PAUWES)- have been strengthened to ensure their unique features and achieve quality, Pan African integration and entrepreneurship.

Three academics from PAU discuss development issues facing Africa.


The project is assisting the PAU Rectorate in the institutional development of steering and management structures. This includes planning processes on strategy and finance, human resources development and regulatory framework conditions. Two PAU Entrepreneurship Hubs have been set up to promote entrepreneurship and networking, including through the organisation of a PAU Innovation Challenge across the PAU institutes. Moreover, the project promotes a closer cooperation with international donors.

In particular, the project is improving quality and relevance of the Master’s Degree programmes in the fields of energy and water at the PAUWES Institute in Tlemcen, Algeria. It is also supporting the development of a new course of studies in the field of climate change.

The project provides advice for partnerships and networks which are developed with other African universities. It also strengthens institute structures and assists in the implementation of their strategic plans. In addition, partnerships have been planned with the private sector to promote joint developments and innovations, thus boosting career options and entrepreneurship. A needs-oriented staff structure has already been developed and will be established as part of strategy implementation.

Last update: December 2021

Additional information

Additional information