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Match World Development Trends, PAID Founder Tells Stakeholders 

By Bouddih Adams — The founder of the Pan-African Institute for Development, PAID International, has urged the continent to go along with world development trends. PAID International founder, Dr. Fernand Vincent told trainers and stakeholders at the institute in Buea, during a reception organised in his honour when he came visiting, last March 30.

Fernand Vincent brandishes gift while Prof. Quenum and Dr. Elad look on

“Are you here in Buea to have a nice life with your family, or are you here dedicated to the people and development of Africa” the Swiss man quipped. Dr. Fernand Vincent told PAID stakeholders to look round the world and see what development policies are working and tune their own efforts in line with the global development trends, so that Africa would not lag behind.

He said it was not his idea alone to create PAID. He named the other expatriates with whom they discussed the idea before its creation. He said creating the institute was the work of a team, and that he nursed the idea in line with the pan-African vision for development as propounded by the then African leaders like Nkwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and the rest. The idea was born for the future of Africa and her development.

“We have a model to develop, so, what are the values?” Vincent asked rhetorically. “If you want a future, development, go ahead, I will be behind you,” he added. Earlier,  Vincent was led to cut a ribbon to open the “Dr. Fernand Vincent Hall” named after him and to unveil a plaque dedicated to him as founder of PAID International.

In her welcome address, the Regional Director of PAID-WA, Dr. Pola Thompson, thanked Dr. Vincent for giving birth to groom man power for Africa’s development; “using learning, capacity development, research, to ensure that those passing through PAID, should make their mark in the realm of sustainable development in various walks of life.”

“It is truism that without Fernand Vincent, there would have been no PAID, because all what we are now as students, lecturers and workers, is thanks to the initiative of one man, Fernand Vincent, to whom this hall is dedicated. We wish to thank God for giving you to us in this generation, Dr. Pola said.

“Even when PAID was plunged into serious challenges of its own, we drew much inspiration from you, as you stood by the institute throughout the crisis,” she told Vincent, adding that, “we want to appreciate the efforts you continue to make to link us with foreign partners, for your innovative ideas on the new approaches to learning and for ensuring that PAID is constantly engaged in development discourse and action.”

Further appreciating PAID, she said: “A couple of days ago, when I heard about the achievements of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) in the past 10 years of its creation, I could see you Dr. Fernand Vincent in this whole process.” The President of the Governing Council of PAID, Dr. Mrs Theresa Elad, described Fernand Vincent as the ‘Star of the Day’.

“We are here to celebrate the life of a great man, for what he has done for Africa. Since 1964, what Fernand Vincent has done, the products of this idea have criss-crossed the world, holding posts of responsibility right up to world bodies like the United Nations. Saying thank you is not enough. Fernand Vincent will leave this world a better place than he met it,” Dr. Elad said amid applause.

The Inspector General in the Southwest Governor’s office, Jean Claude Obame, who represented the Governor, appreciated the new orientation of person-centred development of PAID in its 41 years of existence, while thanking the founder. He said the Government of Cameroon hold PAID in high esteem;

“That is why in 2009, the Government appointed a Provisional Administrator to restore order in PAID in the Buea and Douala regional institutes which were at the verge of collapsing. Government is bent on revitalising this institute because of its impact on the rural masses who constitute the bulk of its population.” PAID West Africa region has institutes in Buea and Douala in Cameroon, and in Ouagadougou and Kapoue in Burkina Fasso.

First published in The Post print edition no. 01334

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