The African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, an African Center of Excellence (ACE), has added another feather to its cap as Jeanne Pauline MUNGANYINKA, a Ph.D candidate in the department of Materials Science and Engineering at African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, Nigeria successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on Wednesday 12th October, 2022 under the supervision of Prof. Grace Ofori-Sarpong (UMaT,Ghana) and Prof. Brajendra Mishra (WPI,USA).

By her Ph.D defense, Jeanne Pauline Munganyinka became the first female alumnus of the Regional Scholarship Innovation Fund/Parnership for Skills in Science and Engineering Technology (RSIF/PASET) program (with regional coordinating unit at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Nairobi, Kenya) which sponsored her studies.

She is equally the 8th Ph.D scholar to defend a thesis under the RSIF/PASET program. The RSIF/PASET program that started in 2018 has 246 Ph.D scholars studying in 15 African Host Universities (AHU) across the continent.

AUST is one of the 3 AHUs in Nigeria. Pauline is the 4th of the 4 Cohort 1 RSIF/PASET scholars to complete her Ph.D studies. Her work which focused on the development of novel technologies for value addition to raw gold ores from Rwanda as well as valorization of artisanal gold mine tailing to be deployed as potential secondary sources of gold, marked a tremendous inroad in the search and development of Gold.

This will significantly boost local development of Gold by ensuring that miners and communities benefit from small-scale industry mining and that their environment is well protected.

The highly elated Acting President of AUST, Professor Azikiwe Peter Onwualu, FAS on behalf of the AUST community extends the university’s congratulations to Dr. Munganyinka and thanked RSIF/PASET for sponsoring Dr. Munganyinka and others.

It is noteworthy that the RSIF/PASET program was created as a stock of highly skilled scientists, professionals and innovators in ASET areas and has the following objectives: to identify and nurture young talented Africans who wish to further their studies in ASET fields where expertise is needed most; address imbalances in the number of women and disadvantaged groups in ASET fields in Africa and to build African university capacity to provide relevant ASET training thereby ensuring continued investment in scaling up the ASET education and workforce in Africa.