World Bank signs Sh327m science training deal

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Amina Mohamed Education Secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

The World Bank yesterday signed a Sh327.8 million ($3.8 million) deal with International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) to fund training in science and innovation in sub-Saharan Africa.

The deal will support the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) to create a competent pool of researchers in applied sciences, engineering and technology sectors under the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences Engineering and Technology (Paset).

It is part of a larger Sh922.1 million ($9 million) grant by the government of Korea to support the RSIF. Korea will facilitate PhD scholarships and support students in the transformative technologies.

It will also create an exchange programme between faculty in Sub-Saharan Africa and Korean universities in areas such as ICT, solar energy and energy storage.

“The World Bank is excited to be partnering with the Government of Korea on a new project to support the RSIF. Africa’s scientific and technical capacity will be key drivers for its economic growth and the RSIF is an important initiative on the continent that will help build highly qualified local talent as well as strong institutional capacity in a sustainable manner,” the World Bank said in a statement.

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The deal follows an agreement between the Bank and the Korean government to set up a Sh1.02 billion ($10 million) Trust Fund to strengthen the on-going partnership to build Africa’s technical and scientific capacity, signed in May.

Paset chairperson and Education Secretary Amina Mohamed said the deal marks the start of a long-term mutual partnership towards building African capacity in science, technology and innovation to accelerate development in Africa.