Ambassador Andrew J. Young Visit to IUGB
Professor Saliou Touré, President of the International University of Grand Bassam (IUGB), and the IUGB community welcomed Ambassador Andrew J. Young, President of the Andrew J. Young Foundation and his delegation to IUGB’s campus on Monday March 6, 2017.
IUGB students saluted Ambassador Young through dance, poetry and song, paying tribute to his lifelong fight for human and civil rights alongside Dr. Martin Luther King and in his own right. Ambassador Young also was presented with a portrait of himself painted by IUGB student artist Avo Bile Mark Arthur.
President Touré welcomed several other distinguished guests including Ambassadors and high level government and private sector officials. The President reviewed the progress of IUGB over the ten years since its establishment in 2007. He also announced the ground-breaking ceremony of IUGB’s new campus scheduled for the next day. He stated that the new “state of the art” IUGB campus will expand the University’s capacity to “produce more innovative, entrepreneurial and socially responsible leaders for Côte d’Ivoire and Africa”. President Touré noted that true to its motto of “Excellence, Accountability and Opportunity”, IUGB stresses equal access to female students who currently make up 50% of the student population.
Before an audience of over 200 people, comprised mainly of IUGB students, Ambassador Young spoke to the importance and relevance of an American-style, English language institution such as IUGB in Côte d’Ivoire. He urged U.S. government representatives in attendance to support IUGB, “a well thought out project…which constitutes an investment in the future”. Ambassador Young donated a collection of books he has authored to IUGB.
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, Ambassador Andrew Young joined His Excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice president of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, for the ground-breaking ceremony at the site of the new IUGB campus.
In opening remarks, the mayor of the City of Grand-Bassam greeted the participants, paid tribute to the Vice President and expressed his gratitude to President Alassane Ouattara for his support of IUGB. The Mayor thanked Ambassador Young for his significant message of encouragement and support.
In the following series of speeches, Ambassador Andrew Young and his foundation was thanked repeatedly for supporting IUGB. Ambassador Young’s remarks conveyed a strong message of hope to the students. He said: “it won’t take long for you to begin making your footprints all over the world”.
Vice President Duncan paid glowing tribute to Ambassador Young and also congratulated Professor Touré and his team for the 3,000 students who have already received training at IUGB. Vice President Duncan noted that in the near future, IUGB can become a center for African transformation through the education of globally competitive human talent utilizing the English language and American model of higher education.
Vice President Duncan appealed to the State of Côte d’Ivoire to help IUGB seek funding to build this new campus which will be constructed on a 51-hectare (126-acre) site. Twenty-eight hectares (69 acres) will be devoted to educational, administration, student-life and multi-sports and recreational facilities. The remaining 23 hectares will be used for extension activities and green space. IUGB is modeling the new campus based upon American master planning techniques which give high priority to a student-centered, environmentally sustainable and community friendly teaching and learning environment.