Korea partners with eight African countries and World Bank Group to build skills in applied sciences, engineering and technology

By EA Trade Review Reporter

Eight African governments are collaborating with the Republic of Korea to strengthen human resources and build skills locally in the applied sciences, engineering and technology.

Senior officials from the Korea Development Institute last week were in Addis Ababa this week to discuss proposals for transformation in priority sectors.

With support from the World Bank Group the officials met with representatives from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. The high-level conference is hosted by the Government of Ethiopia and the World Bank Group.

“Ethiopia is pleased to host this conference as we think there is a lot to be gained from mutual partnership with new partners and investors such as Korea,” said Kabba Urgessa, State Minister for Higher Education, Ethiopia.


East African Community and the IMF in joint project to improve data collection

By Fridah Nkibugah

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the East African Community (EAC) have launched a collaborative programme to improve the compilation and dissemination of government finance statistics.

The programme involves all the five EAC partner states, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The inaugural workshop was held in Arusha, Tanzania, from August 25-29.

The workshop provided an opportunity for statisticians and economists from the EAC region to identify the needs for technical assistance (TA) to strengthen GFS to be provided by the IMF.

The program will assist the EAC Partner States to meet the fiscal data requirements associated with the East African Community Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol, signed by EAC Heads of State in November 2013.

Dr Enos Bukuku, EAC Deputy Secretary in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, welcomed the opportunity to host the workshop and launch the GFS programme.

“The intervention is timely in facilitating production of robust statistical data required for the establishment of EAMU and transition to EAC single currency by 2024,” said Dr Bukuku.


African countries and partners agree to building skills for Africa’s transformation

By Fridah Nkibuga

Education ministers and delegates from 12 African countries have agreed on a broad framework to strengthen technical and scientific skills in Africa.

This will be achieved through collaboration between governments, the private sector and education/training institutions.

The agreement was facilitated during a high-level Forum hosted by the Government of Senegal and the World Bank in Dakar this week.

Senior representatives from Brazil, China, India and Korea shared their experiences and expressed their strong interest in collaborating with African countries to advance this agenda.

On June 12th, the final day of the Dakar Forum, participants—including ministers, scientists, academics, and business leaders—are expected to sign a Call-to-Action outlining how partners will work together to support the skills-building needs of Sub-Saharan African countries.

The Dakar Forum is a follow up to two high level events during the last year. It builds on an earlier PASET conference in Addis Ababa in July 2013, co-hosted by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education and the World Bank where the Ministers of nine African countries presented draft action plans for collaboration with new partners.


World Bank boosts 19 Centers of Excellence in West and Central Africa Africa

By Agencies

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$150 million to finance 19 university-based Centers of Excellence in seven countries in West and Central Africa.

These competitively selected centers will receive funding for advanced specialized studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related disciplines, as well as in agriculture and health.

This landmark Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) project, which will equip young Africans with new scientific and technical skills, will be financed through IDA credits to the governments of Nigeria (US$70 million), Ghana (US$24 million), Senegal (US$16 million), Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Togo (US$8 million each).

The Gambia will also receive a US $2 million credit and a US$1 million grant to provide higher education, including short-term training, to students, faculty and civil servants through the 19 ACEs.


COMESA targets 1.2m Farmers in conservation agriculture

By Agencies

The Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) has targeted 1.2 million farmers to access conservation agriculture technologies to help the sector build resilience to the effects of Climate Change.

The COMESA Secretariat has embarked on a training of trainers programme to provide farmers with scientifically proven practical adaptation options to climate change.

The secretariat has already trained 50 extension and agriculture officers from five districts in Uganda.

Other participation organizations included the National Agricultural Research Organization, University of Makerere and Rural Enterprise Development Services Limited.

COMESA Climate Change Coordinator, Mr Chikakula Miti, informed the meeting that in 2009 the Ministers of Agriculture and Environment agreed that the COMESA region should ensure that 1.2 million farmers have access to Conservation Agriculture (CA) technologies by 2012.


Plea for Agricultural Innovation

By Calestous Juma

It is a great honor for me to return to Montreal 17 years since I arrived here to set up the permanent offices of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

My long association with Canada dates back to 1979 when I was recruited by the Nairobi-based Environment Liaison Centre (ELC) as a writer and founding editor of Ecoforum, a trilingual magazine on environment.

My work was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The organization was headed by Gary Gallon, a Canadian. In 1982 I received a scholarship from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to study science and technology policy.

There is no better testimony of the significance of Canada's commitment to international development cooperation than this honorary degree.


Four EAC partner states set to benefit from potato project

By EA Trade Review Reporter

Thousands of potato farmers in East Africa are set to benefit from a fast-track potato seed strategy that seeks to increase potato yields by 20 per cent.

The initiative, spearheaded by International Potato Center (IPC), is geared to producing large numbers of minitubers through very rapid multiplication.

The third generation seed multiplication is part of a five year project by the International Potato Center dubbed “Seed Potato Value Chain Roadmap” targeting Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda that targets business investments to increase the availability of high-quality seed potatoes and promote improved seed management.

The method yields the same quantity of high-quality potato seed in three field generations as traditional methods deliver in seven generations.

This rapid multiplication means production costs are lower, and there is less chance of contamination of the seed by disease or pests.

In Transmara district of Rift Valley, a predominantly Maasai area, one woman has led the way in adopting the multiplication program.

Ms Christine Nashuru harvested and sold over 10.3 tons of seed potato last year worth about Sh380, 000 after attending seed multiplication training that brought together 57 seed multipliers from across the country.


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