Spokesman to Governor Kashim Shettima, Isa Gusau, said in a statement emailed to journalists on Friday that the scholarships followed an agreement reached between Governor Kashim Shettima and President of AHFAD UNIVERSITY, Professor Gasim Badri when Governor Shettima led a delegation to the school in Khartoum, Sudan, on Thursday with demands for slots for female citizens of Borno State.
The University, which belongs to a family with a generation of educational scholars in Sudan, is a non-profit institution which has been awarding scholarships to female citizens of over 20 countries.
Gusau explained that after persuasions by Governor Shettima, highlighting challenges faced by Borno State as a result of the negative impact of the Boko Haram insurgency which has adversely affected the educational sector, both parties agreed that 100 female citizens of Borno State are to be admitted into the school in the next academic session on 50-50 scholarship basis.
President of AHFAD UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN, Professor Gasim Badri announced the award of scholarships to 50 female citizens of Borno State to pursue different Degree courses while Governor Kashim Shettima announced that the Borno State Government will sponsor another 50 women to pursue Degrees in Medicine at the University.
Governor Kashim Shettima who was accompanied by the Charge D’ Affairs and Nigeria’s acting Ambassador to Sudan, Mr Abu Giwa Ibrahim, described his meeting with the President of the University as the highest point of his visit to Sudan.
Shettima said he has bias for female education because women in Borno State have been left behind for many years in terms of education. ‘If you educate a woman’, Governor Shettima said, ‘you educate a nation’.
The Governor said the Ministry of Higher Education, whose Commissioner was in the delegation, will ensure that all the 27 local government areas as well as multi religious and ethnic groups in Borno State are fairly represented in the selection of the 100 women to be sent to AHFAD UNIVERSITY which is an institution that admits only women. He said when the fresh students are brought on board, they will add to the existing 60 women currently studying medicine in two Universities in Khartoum, Sudan, under the full scholarship of the Borno State Government.
Governor Kashim Shettima said that though he knows that his successor will take most of the political glory of harvesting the girls as medical doctors, he was happy to lay the foundation for another era of massive human capacity development of female citizens of Borno State.
Our correspondent reports that the University has its roots traced to a private Elementary School for Girls established in 1907 before it became a College for Women in 1966 while in 1995 the Sudan National Council for Higher Education granted full university status to the institution making Ahfad University for Women (AUW) not only the oldest and largest private University in Sudan but also the only private female university in Africa.