His Excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, prime minister of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, along with a delegation of key ministers of government and business leaders honored Ambassador Andrew Young at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel during the formal launch of the of the International University of Grand-Bassam Foundation on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.
The foundation’s “mission is to provide both financial and in-kind assistance to build and sustain the International University of Grand-Bassam, helping it become the regional center of excellence in higher education in West Africa.”
An education institution, IUGB’s goal is to provide internationally recognized education in fields critical to regional economic development, sustainability and lifelong learning. They offer bachelor degrees in business and in S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. Current higher education partners are Georgia State University, University of Houston, University Alabama-Birmingham and University of Central Arkansas.
“I am truly honored to receive the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire’s highest civilian honor, the Commandeur de L’Ordre,” Ambassador Andrew Young said in a statement to the press. “Indeed it was an honor to work with numerous individuals to make this dream a reality, including my good friend, Mr. Sammuel Koffi. Achieving an education in our global economy is a prerequisite for all who will be contributing members of society.”
During their tenure at IUGB, students will gain educational and professional skills necessary to become global citizens and leaders of tomorrow. Ambassador Young was instrumental in the formation of the IUGB, assisting officials to develop its vision and mission, including holding strategy meetings in Cote d’Ivoire.
“Like most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Cote d’Ivoire’s higher education system lacks the capacity to produce both the volume and quality of well-educated and skilled personnel to meet the demands of the labor market and to drive sustainable development,” adds Ambassador John F. Hicks, executive director of the IUGB Foundation. “IUGB’s mission is to help remedy that situation by identifying qualified students, especially women, and providing both financial and in-kind assistance to attend the university.”
Prime Minister Duncan presented Ambassador Young with the Commandeur de L’Ordre, Cote d’Ivoire’s highest civilian honor at the close of the dinner.