This announcement was made at Cambridge-Africa Day on Tuesday 25 October, where Mrs. Saraki gave the afternoon keynote speech on the importance of closer collaboration between African health specialists and global universities such as Cambridge University.
She noted how academic research cascades down to affect individuals at a community level and frontline health workers. Other speakers of the day included Professor Richard Leakey the palaeontologist and Professor Ebenezer Owusu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
“I am so pleased by the news from Cambridge University. Yesterday I was hugely encouraged by the sheer quality of much needed research, led by African post graduate students, from Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda, to name just a few, in close collaboration with their research mentors from Cambridge University.
The collaborations demonstrated that clear solutions to challenges that have bedevilled the global development community: from predicting, preventing and patient management of pre-eclampsia and adverse drug reactions and pharmaco vigilance in patients of African descent; to the environmental importance of bat conservation to agricultural ecology and in turn or food security, could be solved.
“In truth, the African solutions to African challenges will come from raising African research to the highest of global excellence, as manifested by the quality emanating from empowering African students to pursue further skills at Cambridge, a leading global institution. I commend the leadership of Cambridge University in waiving application fees for African post-graduate students as a step of singular goodwill towards global development, that will reverberate for generations.
“An old African proverb is that ‘It is the person that wear the shoe that knows where it is pinching’ this application fee waiver will allow more African students of deserving intellect, to access the opportunities of ground-breaking research, to return with greater skills, which can be applied to our local challenges, that may hitherto have gone un-researched and unsolved due to the global institutions not knowing the challenges existed.”