Tuesday, 30 June 2015

African Governments Commit $5m to Regional Innovation Fund

lending-and-_20140530130236448_webA ‘Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund’ for Africa launched recently shows African Governments contribution to the World Bank ‘Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)’ programme.

PASET seeks to award 10,000 African PhD scholarships over ten years, to strengthen research and innovation in applied science, engineering and technology.

The African Governments involved committed to the Fund alongside a new group of prominent business figures, the ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’, to raise a total of $5million during the launch by Macky Sall, president, Republic of Senegal.

The ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ group is chaired by Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, Angolan businessman, also Chairman of the Planet Earth Institute NGO.

Additional funds will now be mobilised from African Governments, business leaders and other developmental partners, to operationalise the Fund by June 2016.

The initiative is led by the PASET Steering Committee comprising Ministers responsible for higher education and research from Senegal, Rwanda and Ethiopia, business leaders, representatives from academia and the World Bank.

The overall objective of PASET is to accelerate the creation of a skilled, high-quality workforce in Africa to power Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

The launch of the Fund is an outcome of the actions agreed at the previous PASET Forum’s held in Ethiopia (2013) and Senegal (2014), as well as the related Forum on Higher Education, Science and Technology held in Rwanda (2014).

The World Bank reaffirmed its support to the PASET objectives and its readiness to continue to support the initiative.

According to the World Bank, after a decade of exceptional growth in Africa, averaging 4.5 percent a year across the continent, it is necessary to build skills to sustain this growth and transform African economies towards higher levels of competitiveness.

Currently the African workforce greatly suffers from a lack of scientific and technical capacity and an integrated approach that brings together all partners – public and private, traditional and emerging partners – is needed.

The Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund adopts this approach, with African Governments committing hand in hand with the private sector and other partners.Read More...


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