Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

AFRICA/WORLD: World Bank, South Korea seeks to boost science in Africa

Science in Africa will again record another boost from international partners. The World Bank (WB) and the government of South Korea have inked an agreement to assist sciences in Africa. With this new dispensation, African technology and science students are set to benefit from a $3.8M funding to facilitate technological development in Africa.

According to the World Bank, the grant represents a $9M pledge by Seoul to assist the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF). The main objective of the fund is to build a world class capacity in science and technology across Africa.

World Bank’s Education Practice Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa Sajitha Bashir emphasized that Africa’s scientific and technical ability will foster economic growth, adding that the RSIF is an important milestone on the continent that will help identify the potentials and build highly competent local talent and strong institutional capacity in a sustainable manner. The World Bank has been entrusted with the management of the grant.

It will be handled as a trust Fund and executed by Nairobi-based International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) to back technical skills upgrade in Africa under the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences Engineering and Technology (PASET) initiative. Kenya’s Education minister Amina Mohamed for her part noted that African nations are looking forward for a friendlier and long lasting mutual cooperation towards building African capacity in science, technology and innovation, adding that this new initiative would “propel the continent’s transformation.” Mrs. Mohamed witnessed the signing of the grant agreement. The World Bank and the Korean government in May reached a consensus which obliged South Korea to establish a $10M trust fund at the Bretton Woods Institution to uplift Africa’s technological capability.

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