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AfDB approves USD 124 million for ‘Centers of Excellence’ in Mali, Uganda and Rwanda

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved funds totaling USD 124.3 million for ground-breaking ‘Centers of Excellence’ in higher education in Mali, Uganda and Rwanda.

The funding approved within the span of three months (June and September 2011), aims to create a new model of higher education in the three countries.  The Centers of Excellence will break the barriers between education and business by linking universities and training facilities to business incubators and by using new technologies to improve learning outcomes.

The main goals are to give a boost to science and technology and job creation.

The CoEs receiving the funds are the Mulago Teaching Hospital in Kampala, Uganda (USD 88.8 million), the Bamako Digital Complex in Mali (USD 22.5 million) and Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda (USD 13 million).  The Mulago project is funded jointly by the AfDB’s ‘soft loan’ arm, the African Development Fund and the AfDB’s Nigeria Trust Fund.  The funds for the Bamako complex and the Carnegie Mellon University initiative are sourced from the African Development Fund.

In addition to rehabilitating the Mulago Teaching Hospital, the oldest in Kampala, the AfDB will contribute to providing high quality medical and nursing education in Uganda and the Eastern Africa Region. It will support the development of biomedical science and technology, biomedical research and help create high-quality jobs through biomedical technology and telemedicine.  This will help improve the shortage of skills for medical and nursing jobs.  For more information, click here to view Press Release and Project Appraisal Report.

The funding for the Bamako Digital Complex is a follow up to the pledge made by the AfDB at the 2007 Kigali Connect Africa Summit, to fund the complex to scale up ICT, build entrepreneurship skills, strengthen Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and boost research and innovation in ICT in Mali and West Africa. The Bamako Digital Complex comprises three main Information and Communication Technology development poles: a Techno Center, a Techno Park, and a Techno village.  Their objective is to build human capital, increase competitiveness and create jobs especially for youth.

The AfDB is the largest financier of this USD 37 million project with contributions from the Government of Mali (USD 3 million) and the French Development Agency (USD 11.5 million). For more information, click here to view Press Release and Project Documents.

In a unique tripartite partnership with the Government of Rwanda and Carnegie Mellon University, the AfDB is providing USD 13 million to finance a branch campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda --the first highly ranked American university to operate a fully-fledged campus in Africa. This ICT center of excellence will comprise of an innovation incubator, an executive education center, a mobility research center, a practical training center and a graduate education program. For more information, click here to view Press Release and Project Documents. The funding approval is in line with Bank’s Higher Education and Science and Technology (HEST) strategy.

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