The Pan African University Council is the highest governing body of the university and has oversight of the policy, finances and property of the PAU. Unless otherwise provided in the Statute, the Pan African University council shall have authority to adopt regulations and to issue directives, policies and guidelines to govern all activities and operations of the Pan African University.

The Pan African University Council:

  • Approves the recruitment, promotion and discipline of academic and research staff of the PAU;
  • Approves staff regulations and rules for the PAU, taking into account recommendations from the PAU Senate on the selection and recruitment of academic staff. PAU staff regulations and rules approved by the PAU Council shall be presented to the Executive Council for approval;
  • Approves Codes of Conduct for PAU staff and students following recommendations by the PAU Senate;
  • Approves all other PAU regulations, rules, measures directives, policies and procedures which shall govern the activities and operations of the PAU;
  • Promotes socio-cultural activities of the PAU;
  • Designates new centers of the PAU and institutions affiliated to the PAU as well as Programme Departments within the Institutes and Centers of the PAU in consultation with the PAU Senate and the corresponding organ of the host university concerned;
  • Approves work plans and adopt the budget of the PAU on the basis of proposals submitted to it by the
  • Rector;
  • Considers the Rector’s annual activity report covering the work of the PAU and the status of implementation of its work plans;
  • Approves the multi-annual strategic development plan and operational plans of the PAU;
  • Approves any agreements, contracts and other arrangements of a legal nature to be signed by the Rector on behalf of the PAU;
  • Considers and approve the appointment of members of the PAU Senate nominated by the Rector;
  • Reports annually on the work of the PAU to the Assembly; 
  • Performs all other functions within its mandate as are necessary for the smooth operation and development of the PAU.

The Council may constitute committees or working groups and outline the membership and respective roles thereof as it deems necessary.

The Pan African University Council is constituted as follows:

  • President;
  • Vice-President;
  • The Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology;
  • The Vice Chancellors/Vice-Rectors of all host universities of PAU institutes;
  • The Chairperson of the Specian Technical Commitee (STC) in charge of education or his/her representative;
  • The PAU Rector (ex-officio);
  • The Directors of all PAU institutes;
  • A representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
  • A representative from each of the RECs;
  • Two scholars from the African Diaspora appointed by the Chairperson of the Commission;
  • A representative of the Association of African Universities (AAU);
  • A representative of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS);
  • A representative of the Key and Thematic Partners on a rotational basis;
  • A representative of academic staff of the PAU;
  • A representative of administrative staff of the PAU;
  • Two representatives of students of the PAU.

The PAU Council elects the President and Vice President of the PAU Council from a list of five candidates presented by the Bureau of the STC. The candidates presented shall be citizens of AU Member States.

The Chairperson of the Commission appoints all other members of the PAU Council following consultations with the Bureau of the STC and the respective organizations enumerated in sub-article 1 of the PAU Revised Statute. The Chairperson of the Commission shall ensure merit and competence with due consideration for gender equity and geographical representation in deciding on the appointment of the members of the PAU Council.

PAU Council members shall serve a three-year term renewable once.

Half of the members of the PAU Council shall be replaced at the end of their three-year term. This half shall be determined by lot at the time of their assumption of Office as members of the PAU Council.


Functions of the President of the Pan African University Council:

Prof. Tolly S.A. Mbwette served for a three-year mandate as the first President of the PAU Council. He was succeeded by Prof. Pierre Dominique Nzinzi, elected on 28 January 2018, through Decision Assembly/AU/DEC.675 (XXX) on the election of the President and Vice-President of the Pan-African University. The handing-over ceremony between the former and current President took place on 22 November 2018 in the presence of Professor Kassa Belay, PAU acting Vice-Rector, Directors of the 4 PAU Institutes and staff of the PAU Rectorate.

The President of the PAU Council is assisted by a Vice-President. Prof. Nthabiseng Audrey, from South Africa is the current Vice-President of PAU elected on 2 July 2018 through Decision Assembly /AU/Dec.14 (XXXI) on the election of the Vice-President of the Pan-African University, at the AU Heads of State and Government Assembly.

The President of the PAU Council shall:

  • Set the agenda of the PAU Council sessions in consultation with the Rector;
  • Summon the members of the PAU Council to attend PAU Council sessions;
  • Preside over the meetings of the PAU Council; monitor discussions, represent the PAU Council;
  • Receive all communications addressed to the PAU Council; sign all official documents issued by the PAU Council; and perform such other functions as may be specifically assigned by the PAU Council.

In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall perform the functions of the President.

The PAU Council meets twice a year in ordinary session. It may meet in extraordinary session at the request of the President or at least simple majority of the total membership of the PAU Council, in consultation with the Rectorate;

The quorum for a meeting shall be a simple majority of the total membership of the PAU council;

Decisions of the PAU Council shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Members present and voting;

Except as otherwise determined by the PAU Council, all meetings of the PAU Council shall be held at the Rectorate;

Minutes of PAU Council sessions shall be sent to the Commission for information;

The Rector shall serve as secretary to the PAU Council.