Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) - An international conference of the Francophonie is being held in the Congolese capital, Brazzaville, as part of the activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), PANA reports from here.
The meeting, which started Wednesday under the theme "University, citizenship and performance, how to strengthen the social bond," brings together over 200 academic and scientific personalities and is expected to take stock of activities of the AUF, as well as to chart a new path.
At the opening ceremony, AUF Rector Bernard Cerquiglini said: "To move forward, our universities must collaborate and innovate, be further involved in the development of our countries and contribute to the training of effective executives, professionals and managers," he said.
"We need to participate in the transformation of society and the change in mentality," he added.
On his part, the Congolese Minister of Higher Education, Ange Antoine Abena, said that AUF had been instrumental in the emergence of higher education in Congo, namely in the completion of three inter-university international scientific cooperation projects, two regional centres of excellence, a digital campus and teaching assignments, among others.
"These activities have helped set up a platform for an effective scientific and technological training necessary for the successful development of our country," he said.
AUF, one of the largest associations for higher education and research in the world, brings together some 774 institutions of higher learning and research in 91 countries.
AUF aims to contribute to the construction and consolidation of a science space in French, by promoting scientific cooperation, training future development stakeholders, supporting research and excellence as well as sharing expertise.
-0- PANA MB/JSG/JEN/SEG 7July2011