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Grand Final of the 1st PAU Innovation Challenge Speaking Notes German Ambassador


Your Excellency, Commissioner Agbor
Your Excellency, Minister Prof. Abdelbaki Benziane of Higher Education and
Scientific Research of Algeria
Director PhD. Martha T.M Phiri, Human Capital, Youth and Skills Department at
Acting Rector of the Pan African University Prof.Kassa Belay
Rectors of the Host Universities of the PAU Institutes,
Directors of the PAU Institutes,
and first and foremost,
dear students and alumni of the Pan African University!
As German Ambassador at the African Union, let me thank all participants in this great event for their hard work, especially the students and Alumni of the PAU institutes and the eight finalist teams.
I am impressed by the high number of participants in the competition (almost 70 teams with 240 members in total) and even more so by the innovations, which you, the graduates of the four PAU institutes, have created.
Dear students and alumni, you have worked on creative ideas in a number of areas, ranging from solar power and smart farming solutions in the fight against hunger and poverty as well as Inter-African trade.  
Congratulations to all of you, and especially to the eight finalist teams on getting this far. You all are shining examples of academic excellence for the African continent!
Research and innovation are a cornerstone of economic and social development in my home country, Germany, too. For instance German students, researchers and engineers register about 300-400 patents with world market potential every
year. Many success stories started in incubation centers embedded in German universities just like PAU is going to set up with German support. Many of these innovations went on to become key factors in advancing the German and European economy.
Europe’s neighbor, Africa, is already on the right path to benefit from such innovation potential as well - especially if it is lead by enthusiastic students and alumni like you! Key for success will be more and stronger cooperation between universities, business partners and start-up centers.
That is why Germany, in this case through GIZ, is heavily investing in skills development, youth employment, high-end education and gender balance in our cooperation with the African Union, but also bilaterally with many African Union members states.  
We are proud to have supported the Pan African University (PAU) for quite a while now – and we are even more proud to see the good results:
The 1st PAU Innovation Challenge allowed P U’s students and alumni to successfully address current technological and societal challenges on the African continent through innovation. Today’s event marks a milestone in P U’s commitment to nurture, develop and promote the entrepreneurial spirit in Africa.  
I would like to assure you of my great respect for the Pan African University, its institutes and GIZ for having successfully carried out the Innovation Challenge throughout 2020, under the tough conditions of the pandemic.
I am more than happy to announce that the German Government, through GIZ, will be financing a 3-months incubation center for all awarded teams. These teams will benefit from business development programs and coaching opportunities to develop their business ideas further to be market ready.
I wish all the participating teams the best of success and courage to continue developing your ideas and innovations – for your own and your continent’s prosperity!
Thank you very much for your attention.