Following the 2008 Summit decision to establish the Pan African University, the African Union Commission (AUC) officially launched the Pan African University project in 2011.

The Pan African University ( PAU)  is the culmination of continental initiatives of the Commission of the African Union to revitalize higher education and research in Africa. It is a project that will exemplify excellence, enhance the attractiveness and global competitiveness of African higher education and research and establish the African University at the core of Africa’s development. The Pan African University will greatly boost the population and retention of high level human resources and quality knowledge outputs and be able to attract the best intellectual capacity from all over the world.

The different institutes of the PAU will be hosted in the five geographic regions of Africa (North, West, Central, South and East Africa). Currently, the four existing institutes of the Pan African University are hosted and supported as follows:

  • Northern Africa: PAU Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change) (PAUWES) at the Abou Bekr Belkaid University of Tlemcen, Algeria.
  • Western Africa: PAU Institute for Life and Earth Sciences (including Health and Agriculture) (PAULESI) at theUniversity of Ibadan, Nigeria.
  • Central Africa: PAU Institute for Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences (PAUGHSS) at the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • Eastern Africa: PAU Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya.

The fifth hub in Southern Africa focusing on Space Sciences (PAUSS) will be established in South Africa, hosted by a consortium of 8 universities led by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.  

Furthermore, the Pan-African E-University as a sixth institute hosted at the PAU Rectorate in Cameroon is planned to provide e-learning programmes to a wider audience of students and researchers.