The newly launched ‘Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund’ for Africa launched on 13th June 2015 is now going to contribute to the World Bank ‘Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)’ programme.
The latter seeks to award 10,000 African PhD scholarships over ten years, to strengthen research and innovation in applied science, engineering and technology.
The launch event was led by the President of the Republic of Senegal HE Macky Sall, and representatives of the Heads of States of Ethiopia and Rwanda.
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. The ‘Africa Business Champions for Science’ group is chaired by the Angolan businessman Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, also Chairman of the Planet Earth Institute NGO (http://www.planetearthinstitute.org.uk). Additional funds will now be mobilised from African Governments, business leaders and other developmental partners, to operationalise the Fund by June 2016.
His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal said :”Increasingly, Africa sees the need to depend on science and technology to increase industrial and agricultural productivity, guarantee food security, tackle diseases, ensure a safe water supply, and reduce the energy deficit. While these may seem like insurmountable challenges, the continent cannot waste any more time.”
We must launch a sustained campaign to train and employ a great number of scientists, engineers, and technicians to achieve the structural transformation that Africa needs, and that is exactly what this programme is designed to help support.”
Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, Chairman, African Business Champions for Science and Chairman, Planet Earth Institute: “As Africa continues to make great strides forward, we must also continue to recognise the importance of investing in our future generations. This investment must go beyond access and enrolment to develop excellence, too, especially in science and technology. Excellence in science and technology will equip Africa with a workforce ready to compete in the 21st century, where we can lead the world as scientists, engineers and innovators.”