Igga launches Juba University Engineering and Mathematics Centre
By Moses Gum Degur
The University of Juba on Monday officially launched the Scientific Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Vocational (STEM) Centre with the aim to improve sciences and technology in the country.
The launch ceremony was officiated by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. James Wani Igga who was the guest of honor at the event.
University of Juba is the first national institution in the country with over 10, 000 students in eleven colleges, two schools and institutes and five other specialised centres. The STEM centre is a relevant addition with fully furnished laboratories to be used by primary, secondary and university students among others.
Speaking during the launching ceremony, Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga, said there was need for development of science and technology institutions to improve national economy. He said developing the technology would help young people to use their talents to transform the economy of the country.
“To improve economic development, there is need to promote science and technology centers in order for young South Sudanese to discover where their talents lie in order to compete at global level,” Dr. Igga said.
He said transformation of economy will only happen if all young people are committed, involved in research and innovate new technologies. Dr. Igga cited the importance of science and technology for the promotion of responsible use of natural resources for sustainable economic development.
He appreciated the efforts of Israeli AID and STEM Synergy for helping establish such an important centre in South Sudan for research purposes.
The vice Chancellor of the University of Juba, Prof. Dr. John Akech Apuorot, said the inauguration of STEM was the realization of a vision to transform economies through application of science and technology not only in South Sudan, but equally throughout Africa.
He said promoting research centre was also crucial in broadening access to quality higher education. Prof. Akech further said the mission of the STEM centre is to function as a community outreach mechanism that allows students of primary and secondary schools in the country to gain experience in the field of science and technology.
Professor Akec revealed that the STEM centre will be available to students of colleges of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Juba for construction of their graduation projects and that it will also help empower young people to transform the national economy through provision of quality education.
“Pursuit of relevant research, promotion of innovation, facilitation of technology transfer, revival of cultural heritage, protection of environment and delivery of services to the community will be important steps to be provided by existence of science, technology, engineering and mathematics centre in the country,” Prof. Akech added.
He also said University of Juba is having a vision to become a dynamic, regional and world class center of excellence in teaching, research and innovation.
Francis M. Vigeant, President of the Board of Directors of STEM Synergy said his organization aims at enriching science, technology, engineering and mathematics to equip children and youth of South Sudan with skills to build a more excellent future for themselves and their families.
He said STEM would help develop young generation’s intellectual ability to create, evaluate, and analyse the problems and questions that face them in their everyday experiences. “Such skills are tools to create sustainability, hasten innovation and provide security because young people are tools to understand and shape the world through analysis,” Mr. Vigeant said.
He added that it was the intention of STEM Synergy to train more than 10, 000 children in South Sudan in the next three years. Mr. Vigeant urged the members of the international diplomatic community to partner with STEM in order to teach young people skills to develop new technologies for South Sudan.