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Grand Final of the 1st PAU Innovation Challenge | Closing Speech by H.E Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, the AU Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation


Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to express my appreciation for the warm welcome my team and I have been granted since our arrival here. I am also very grateful for the special reception offered yesterday by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research without forgetting Prof. Saidani, the Director in charge of cooperation.
Today's event was of paramount importance for me, that is why I deemed it necessary to physically take active part despite a difficult context plagued by COVID-19. This is simply the proof, if need be, that throughout my tenure I have always had a special liking for entrepreneurship which is in fact one of the main keys to achieving Agenda 2063.
As a matter of fact, the Innovation Challenge is so dear to me as it seeks to promote and develop the students and Alumni innovative business ideas. Furthermore, it does not only showcase the   achievements of the PAU Institutes, but also, it goes a long way to advertise our products. The impact of entrepreneurship cannot be overemphasised. PAU students get entrepreneurial support in the various hubs and their innovative projects contribute to the entire continent. We can only wish that through the entrepreneurial support, the different projects gain sustainability.
The Cooperation between AU and Algeria has ever been very cordial and fruitful; hosting PAUWES is just one of the examples. At this juncture, I wish to hail the sustainability of the partnership with Germany (our key thematic partner for PAUWES), as well as GIZ and AfDB.
Congratulations to all stakeholders for the support and the work done. As a matter of fact, the extraordinary achievements in the advancement of PAU are due to the strong involvement of all Member States, as well as support from our partners.
As this edition of Innovation Challenge is coming to an end, I do encourage students not to relent efforts, as we look forward towards innovative projects for the next edition. Through their projects, they do not just find “African solutions to African Challenges”, but most importantly, they contribute “to serve the goal of transforming Africa” as envisaged by the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.
Although my mandate is soon to end, I am going to leave peacefully, knowing that I have left things in the able hands of Prof. Zerga, confirmed as Director of the Institute.
I hereby install Prof. Zerga as Director of PAUWES and wish him all the best in the accomplishment of his mission.