Ver Angola


Catholic University of Angola dedicates university extension building to Michael Kennedy

The Catholic University of Angola (Ucan) inaugurated this Tuesday the building of its University Extension, infrastructure that it dedicated, in posthumous homage, to Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, financial booster of the first private educational institution in Angola.

: Lusa

The tribute session was attended by Michael Kennedy Júnior, vice-president of the American Citizens Energy, and son of Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, lawyer and son of Senator Robert Kennedy, who died in December 1997 due to a skiing accident.

At the opening of the ceremony, the archbishop of the archdiocese of Luanda, Filomeno Vieira Dias, expressed recognition and gratitude for the contribution made to the realization of the project to create a private university in Angola, with a Christian matrix.

Filomeno Vieira Dias said that it was in Rome that Cardinal Alexandre do Nascimento had his first meeting with Michael L. Kennedy, to move forward with the project, whose materialization was based on three pillars: financial, institutional and scientific academic.

"For the scientific and academic aspect, it obtained the support and solidarity of the Portuguese Catholic University, for the institutional support it found the collaboration of Albina Assis [former Minister of Petroleum], Professor França Van-Dúnem [at the time Prime Minister] and of the President of the Republic José Eduardo dos Santos, who signed the decree that authorized the creation of the Catholic University of Angola, with the characteristics it has today", he said.

On the financial issue, according to Filomeno Vieira Lopes, Michael L. Kennedy said that he would support making use of his knowledge, donations, US legislation and also Angolan legislation in order to find "a design that guarantees funds for the development of the University Catholic of Angola".

"And so it was, and so it happened, the first donation for the restoration of the building where the Catholic University of Angola began to operate was the result of Michael L. Kennedy's effort to collect funds, with that money the old college of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny", he recalled.

Filomeno Vieira Dias, also Chancellor of Ucan, referred that a fund of 1.5 million dollars was created for any emergency.

"For that reason, we owe a lot to Michael Kennedy and he also took the initiative to set up a foundation to continue to support the development of the Catholic Church", he stressed.

Ucan currently has close to 4,500 undergraduate students and 176 master's students, around 30 professors teach in five faculties and three higher institutes with a training offer of 21 undergraduate courses, in addition to seven masters and two postgraduates, 12 centers of research, of which six autonomous and six dependent on organic units.

Ucan has already trained 6,300 graduates in various areas and 20 masters in economics and social work.

With the university extension, several projects have been developed, among which the training of a considerable number of prison agents and municipal and provincial commanders of the National Police in human rights, promoted by the Ucan Human Rights Center, in partnership with the United Nations.

In his speech, Michael Kennedy Júnior highlighted the importance of this tribute to his father, who started traveling to Angola when he was 9 years old.

"Through him, my brothers and I began to create a connection with Angola even though we lived our childhood in the United States", he stressed, recalling the dedication he had for Angola, having been an observer in the first general elections in the African country, in 1992.

"It is possible to clearly see through his written testimonies how dedicated he was to the country, to its peace process, economic development and democratization", said Michael Kennedy, highlighting that through oil resources his father always sought to finance educational projects.

Speaking to the press, Michael Kennedy, who ends a four-day visit to the country this Tuesday, expressed his happiness at being in Angola and at the homage to his father, underlining that the partnership with Ucan is to maintain and strengthen, "for better investments in education", and the support is embodied in financial resources in the near future.

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