The Pan African Institute for Development (PAID), created on 28 February 1964 to support the economic, social and cultural development of Africa through Action-Research, Support Consultancy and Training of African staff, to enable them assume responsibility at various levels, and with significant participation of the population in order to attain self-development, with the improvement of their living conditions as a priority, will from 2015 start a PhD programme in Applied Sciences for Concerted, Decent and Sustainable Development.
The announcement was made by Prof. Emmanuel Kamdem, Cameroon-born Secretary General of the institution, last Friday Feb 28th at the Yaounde Mont Febe Hotel, on the occasion of the solemn opening ceremony of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of PAID under the theme: “Concerted, Decent and Sustainable Development, Respecting Human Dignity and Safeguarding Animal and Vegetal Species in Africa".
Talking on the peculiarity of the new programme, he told journalists that it would enable people to have the possibility of bringing solutions to concrete problems. He said the programme, like the Executive Master in Applied Sciences for Concerted, Decent and Sustainable Development, aims on the one hand to train senior staff and experts-consultants following the PAID approach which means combining field work and classroom work and on the other hand to strengthen the capacity of senior staff of the public and private sectors, as well as of civil society and international organisations. He said the training would guarantee the employability of the students and would be bilingual at fifty percent English and fifty percent French.
In his speech at the opening, Prof. Kamdem described PAID’s history with Africa as a marriage of love and reason. He dwelt on the structure of PAID, its achievements 50 years on and its most important projects in the next 50 years. Among future projects, he cited the construction of a head office for the Secretariat General in Yaounde whose plan was explained, the acquisition of premises to host the office of the Secretariat General in Geneva, the creation of an incubation centre for enterprises in Bamenda, the construction of the International Centre for Concerted, Decent and Sustainable Development in Yaounde, the construction of the PAID campus for Lusophone African countries in Bissau and the rehabilitation of the Ouagadougou campus.
For her part, Dr. Elad, president of the Governing Council of International Association of PAID, thanked President Biya profusely for coming to the rescue of PAID when it was on its knees and providing it with a plot to build its head office in Yaounde.
Talking about the achievements of PAID 50 years on, she said it had trained close to 30,000 people who presently form a dynamic network of intellectuals at all levels throughout the world. She said the institution had worked hard to narrow the gap between rural and urban development through training and Action-research, with standards that meet the requirements of the African people.
Dr. Elad announced the intention of PAID to create “The International Centre for Concerted and Decent Sustainable Development” and The Spring Academy for Concerted, Decent and Sustainable Development in Africa”.
On the peculiarity of the PAID programme, Dr. Elad said it was drawn to meet and address the required needs of each society based on intensive research work.
Meanwhile, Mme Veronique Vincent Samson, daughter of Dr. Fernand Vincent, “Founding Father” of PAID, delivered a speech of best wishes from her father which also traced the history of PAID with its high and low points.
Before declaring open the celebration, Yaouba Abdoulaye, Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, who represented the MINEPAT boss, paid homage to Fernand Vincent. He promised government’s continued support to PAID which he admitted had benefitted many Cameroonians.
The opening ceremony also witnessed the presentation of the association of former students of PAID (Alumni IPD/PAID), presentation of a documentary on the 50 years of PAID, information on a new series of publications on PAID, The African Innovation Week and Prize. Dance groups from Aghem and Nsei in the North West graced the occasion which culminated in the laying of the foundation stone for the head office of the Secretariat General at the administrative centre in Etoudi, Yaounde, by Mrs. Koung a Bessike Jacqueline, Minister of State Property, Surveys and State Property.