Swiss-Cameroonian Summit Meeting

 

The official meeting was held on 8 October 2013 at the CURES Center in Yaounde, as part of the inauguration day for joint projects undertaken by EPFL and ENSPY. The event began with a welcome address by the President of the University of Yaounde I, in the presence of Cameroon’s Minister of Higher Education, the Ambassador of Switzerland, representatives from the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Energy and Water, and the Head of EPFL’s Vice-Presidency for Information Systems.

 

The latter briefly presented EPFL and the reasons behind the Institute’s engagement in Africa, and especially in Cameroon. Subsequently, the Minister of Higher Education emphasized the importance of joint research projects carried out by Switzerland and Cameroon and the tools made available for these projects, in particular MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the CURES Center's laboratory.

A tour of the CURES premises was organized, and the first equipment that had arrived from Switzerland presented by Dr. Nicolas Crettenand, the project coordinator sent by EPFL to ENSPY, and ENSPY doctoral student Guy Ngounou. The visit ended with the dedication of the CURES plaque at the entrance of the Center (pictured below, from left to right: EPFL’s Vice-President for Information Systems, H.E. the Ambassador of Switzerland, H.E. the Minister of Higher Education, the President of the UYI).

  

 

 

 

The 80 invited guests from Cameroon’s institutions of higher learning, Ministries and private sector then attended a more detailed presentation of the CURES Center given jointly by the Deputy Director of ENSPY, Professor Claude Marie Ngabireng (pictured at right), and Dr. Nicolas Crettenand (pictured below).

 

The Director of the EssentialTech program at EPFL, Dr. Klaus Schönenberger, presented the EssentialTech program, which offers to the solutions being elaborated at the CURES Center a specific development methodology that takes into account the whole value chain and the transfer of technology, so that they have a real and lasting impact in the field. The conference was followed by a lively discussion. 

 

Finally, the Swiss Ambassador concluded the official events of the day and invited the audience to a cocktail reception hosted by Switzerland.

At working sessions the following day, the EPFL delegation joined ENSPY’s directors and professors to discuss the development of the CURES Center, and in particular new projects to be implemented in 2014. Motivation was high due to the enthusiasm shown the previous day by the Cameroonian authorities, who had stressed that the creation of the CURES Center addresses clear-cut and urgent issues for which solutions are eagerly awaited.
 

 

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