World Bank launches Sh14bn project for African universities

Thursday October 27 2016

A graduation ceremony at Egerton University. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A graduation ceremony at Egerton University. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By COLLINS OMULO
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The World Bank has launched a sh14 billion project aimed at delivering market-relevant post graduate education and building research capacity in the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

Speaking during the launch of the project in Nairobi on Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i called on universities in the region to redesign and streamline higher education to attain sustainable development goals.

“This Conference provides an excellent opportunity for key stakeholders in our region to exchange ideas on how to foster inclusive and sustainable higher education for socio-economic development and sustainable transformation in Eastern and Southern Africa,” said Dr Matiang’i.

He lamented about the few skilled professionals in areas like oil and gas as he urged the institutions of higher learning to invest in science and technology.

The project dubbed Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE II) seeks to strengthen 24 centres to deliver quality, market-relevant post-graduate education, and build collaborative research capacity in five regional priority areas— industry, agriculture, health, education and applied statistics.

In Kenya Egerton, Moi and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Universities were selected as centres of excellence.

The five-year project targets Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.

In addition, the Inter University Council for East Africa, which will act as the regional facilitation unit of the project, will receive a grant to facilitate and coordinate the project.

“The scale of the need for highly skilled and specialised labour in the region is so large and so I want to call upon the selected African Centres of Excellence (ACEs) to embark on further strategies that will enable higher education to effectively contribute towards building diversity of the region’s knowledge base so as to meet societal development challenges,” said higher education Principal Secretary Collette Suda.