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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities, AAU has launched its Academic Mobility Scheme in a brief ceremony in Abuja on 22nd September 2015.

The Scheme aims to promote regional integration through a fellowship and Staff Exchange Program by facilitating academic mobility and encouraging networking among regional institutions.

The ECOWAS President, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo represented at the event by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture , Dr. Jean-Pierre Ezin , stated that the launching ceremony was very symbolic for ECOWAS with history showing humanity that the main pillar of social and industrial development is knowledge.

According to him it is the main reason why ECOWAS Heads of State and Government place emphasis on education helping the West African region to accelerate development and eradicate poverty in the process.

In his remarks, the president of the AAU Professor O.Oyewole disclosed that the programme will not only promote mobility of students but also the internationalization of universities in West Africa.

The Programme to be funded by ECOWAS and managed by the AAU would have staff from universities in West Africa or West African academics in Diaspora sponsored to undertake visits to universities in the region to offer services such as teaching, graduate theses supervision, serving as external examiners or engaging in joint research.

Similarly, the ECOWAS Fellowship Programme(EFP), for Masters and PhD will seek to promote capacity building within the region by providing full fellowships for training and educating of nationals of member states in education institutions of ECOWAS.

On hand for the launch were the head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, ambassador Michel Arrion, a representative the Nigerian Ministry of Education, Professor Jonathan Mba and Professor E.Ehile of the AAU as well as Vice-Chancellors from universities in the region .

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