By Issa Sikiti da Silva
Congo Brazzaville’s Université Marien Ngouabi (UMNG) lecturers and researchers have received one computer each last week as part of the stock of 650 computers donated by the Perspectives d’Avenir Foundation.
The foundation is chaired by Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, the son of Congo Brazzaville President Denis Sassou Nguesso and a Member of Parliament.
“There are no words to describe the joy of all the recipients. This equipment is of a critical importance for their work,” UMNG vice-chancellor Armand Moyikoua said at the handover ceremony in the capital Brazzaville.
Every lecturer, from the oldest in grade to the new recruits, now have a laptop, which will enable them improve their teaching and research methods, Moyikoua said, adding that the donation put the university to the path of modernism.
The university has also received another valuable gift from Congo Telecom: the connection of the institution to the country’s fibre optic network to empower its internet connection.
The university also said that Wifi zones were about to be set up in and around UMNG premises.
Teaching staff and researchers in many sub-Saharan African institutions of higher learning lack everything from computers to landline telephones, offices and cars.
So, the Perspective d’Avenir Foundation’s donation has come as a surprise and a lifeline for UMNG teaching staff whose working conditions appear not to have considerably improved in the past two decades.
This prompted the vice-chancellor to say: “You wrote a page of history on the 43-year history of the Marien Ngouabi University.”
State-funded UMNG was established in December 1971 on the ashes of Université deBrazzaville, but was renamed Université Marien Ngouabi in July 1977 to honour the country’s late president who was assassinated in the same year.