Adresse de clôture du Recteur de l’Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale

Dear Keynotes speakers and all participants to this sixth edition of the Yaoundé PhD Seminar on Ethics, Public Policy and Health.

It is a real pleasure for me to be with you, even if it is for a very short time, as you come close to the end of your seminar. For those who were able to come to Cameroon, I hope you have enjoyed your stay so far and that you will keep good memories from your stay in Cameroon. For those who couldn’t join us here in Cameroon because of the extraordinary times we are in since this Covid-19 pandemic has hit us all, we appreciate your taking part to this event and the time and effort you devoted to it, and we wish you the best in your respective cities and countries.

Although I was not able to join you during these last three days, I was aware of some of the difficult issues you were trying to tackle this week. As an ethicist from the theological perspective myself, I find it very productive to engage with different cultural perspectives, Africans and non-Africans, regarding that important topic of Ethics and Health especially in a time of a pandemic that imposes us the revisit our normative assumptions in some many ways. And I think the Yaoundé Seminar provides an excellent platform to address those issues beyond one’s own cultural perspective. It is a good example of the kind of initiative and institution we need to increase the flourishing of the scientific community within this University as well as in Africa in general. That is why it has all our support here at UCAC, and I am proud to welcome you here.

In this regard, let me thank those who made this edition happen. First of all of the organizers, Kelsey Berry and Thalia Porteny respectively from Harvard and Tufts University whom I heard started this process current 2020 before the pandemic constrained them to postponed it to 2021 and Jennifer Mike and Thierry Ngosso from The American University of Nigerai and UCAC who took this to the finish line.

Secondly, I want to thank all the keynote speakers, Prof. Christine Straehle, Caesar Atuire and Ajume Wingo who are here with us, and Prof. Thaddeus Metz, Sridhar Venkatapuram, Rianna Oelofsen  who accepted to sacrifice part of their summer holidays to share their research findings as well as help PhD students find their way in their own respective research projects. I also want to thank the other participants, professors and postdocs, whose contributions have been key making the event a success. My gratitude also goes to PhD students, especially those from other countries than Cameroon whose presence here testifies their complete dedication to scientific research and exchanges.

I would also like to thank those who supported this Program financially. I know that it is not easy for the organizers to pull this off every year or two. So please, Kelsey, Thalia, Jennifer and Thierry transmit on our behalf our gratitude to your respective universities and all the institutions that supported financially this sixth edition: The Swiss National Foundation for Scientific Research, The University of Rutgers, The University of St.Gallen and Université du Québec à Rimousky t and to all those individuals who donated to make this seminar a success.

As you are closing this sixth edition, I imagine you are tired and exhausted by all the academic activities you’ve been doing this week. So, I will keep this closing address very short and will only pray to God that you all have a nice time in Kribi and a safe travel back to your different countries. Here at the Catholic University in Yaoundé we hope to meet you again in a near future. It has been our privilege to host you here and never hesitate to come back!

Thank you!

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