The challenge of excellence
The PKFokam Awards for Science & Technology is a response to the need to uphold excellence through a forum at African level. It´s aim is to roll out this global movement so that all those who have a feel for excellence will adhere thereto and find therein an opportunity to pool their resources.
The path that led to it was slow but sure. It all began with notice of the fact that there was a glaring shortage of skilled executives in Africa. The majority of university institutions offer training that does not always take into account the needs of companies or does not sufficiently equip learners to create jobs on their own.
Accordingly, in June 2006, through my leadership, the NGO Appropriate Development for Africa Foundation (ADAF) established the PKFokam Institute of Excellence, a non-denominational private polytechnic university of higher learning whose slogan is «training tomorrow’s leaders today».
We have partnered with American and Chinese universities to provide international standard training. Our ambition is to never train graduates without jobs or jobless graduates. For the last eight years, companies have been jostling to grab our graduates, evidence that our efforts to achieve excellence are recognized. This is a booster in our choice to make excellence the most common denominator. Then, since 2014, the university has been organizing a major annual international conference on science and technology, which has attracted many researchers and promoters of innovative projects in search of excellence. In three years, this come-together has revealed talents and linked researchers with their publics: companies, patrons, officials… The rendezvous has provided an opportunity to realize how much young people in Africa are teeming with initiatives. Once again, we felt challenged. In order to harness such creativity, it was necessary to go further:
providing researchers with tools to better conduct their research; arousing a sense of emulation. This is what inspired the institution of the PKFokam Awards for Science & Technology. It is not only a prize awarded to the best in each category in competition, but a platform to monitor and supervise researchers and project promoters. We will continue to broaden the scope of emulation, particularly by focusing on disadvantaged social strata. Indeed, much creativity takes place outside formal settings like the university, laboratories and ministries.
With effect from the second edition, we will introduce a third category to reward the excellence of all those who are not students, researchers or formal entrepreneurs, yet they showcase our culture and our arts.
Dr. Paul K. Fokam
Founder & Chairman of PKFokam Institute of Excellence