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The Role of Science and Technology and Higher Education in African Development Frannie Léautier Vice President World Bank Institute Dar es Salaam, March.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Science and Technology and Higher Education in African Development Frannie Léautier Vice President World Bank Institute Dar es Salaam, March."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Science and Technology and Higher Education in African Development Frannie Léautier Vice President World Bank Institute Dar es Salaam, March 6, 2007

2 The Historical Context of S&T in Africa With the exception of Africa – it has long been recognized that world class science and technology are the engines of economic growth (value addition to people & natural resources) This has been achieved in Europe, North America, Australia and most recently in Asia….. However, in contrast Sub-Saharan Africa has 83 engineers per million people compared to 1000 in the developed world

3 The Challenges Development aid in the 90s created an imbalance in the education sector favoring primary education over other levels. Lack of a system approach to education. World Bank funding to higher education dropped to 7% of portfolio with most support going to middle-income countries. Poor conditions and quality of tertiary education has compelled the best and the brightest to seek their education abroad. More than 50,000 African professionals with post-graduate degrees work outside of their mother country. Knowledge economy demands high level of skills which tertiary institutions provide. Sub-Saharan Africa has just one scientist or engineer for every 10,000 people. Industrialized countries have one for every people.

4 Vision for Tertiary Education as driver of capacity development Tertiary institutions should be at the center of a countries education network and capacity building strategy. Motivation. Excellence at the tertiary level should inspire the best minds to stay in school to reach university. Access. Learning centers for teacher training and continuing education are needed. Monterrey Tech in Mexico for instance has developed a distance education network with 800 learning centers providing training to the poorest, mostly in rural areas. Quality. Tertiary institutions should pave the way with regard to quality of educational resources and teaching practices. Research and dissemination of this knowledge are also key. Universities are the source of teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, etc. Excellence in these areas is necessary to keep the best in countries.

5 Tertiary Institutions as engines of development Curriculum needs to refocus on indigenous challenges and solving local problems. Universities need explicit community outreach initiatives with interaction by both students and faculty to engage with communities and understand challenges. Hands on, practical orientation to education and problem-solving focus. Science and Technology key focus areas for tertiary institutions in contributing to cutting edge solutions to development challenges. Collaborative approaches with other tertiary institutions and the private sector needed.

6 Reforms Curriculum reform. Greater interdisciplinary focus; strengthening of science and maths; relevant skills for job market including information reasoning skills, communication skills and cultural awareness. Pedagogical reform. Move away from rote learning to learning how to learn and learning by doing. Greater focus on practical problem solving. Broader interaction with the industrial and private sector to allow staff and students to participate in cutting edge research and idea development. Student internships to gain hands-on experience.

7 Reforms continued Improved infrastructure with latest technologies and laboratory equipment at disposal of researchers and students. Increased Internet connectivity and internetworking among institutions to access knowledge and share knowledge. More entrepreneurship and creativity in creating partnerships and managing dynamic institutions.

8 Short/Medium Term Strategy The key strategic resources for Africa are mineral resources, fertile land and people – Most of the mineral resources remain unexploited (Gulf of Guinea Area) – A significant fraction of the land is not farmed – The real capacity of most of the people is not realized Need to add value to mineral resources, land and people – Manufacturing – Agriculture/agro-processing – IT/Telecom Short/medium term strategy must be to develop an integrated approach within 10 years

9 Long Term Plan The objective of the LT approach is to prepare for emergence into global markets This requires the development of globally competitive knowledge-based industry or enterprise Key components of the long term plan are – First rate institutions and people (education) – Research and development in niche areas – Entrepreneurship in a global context – Example of Arusha Technology Village (ATV) next to AIST – Anticipating the future (10-20 years……)

10 How is Africa resolving the S&T challenge? An initiative led by African scientists and engineers Flower model – Node in Abuja – 3 campuses (Arusha, Abuja, Ouagadougou) – Affiliation with centers in existing institutions (Cape Town) – Faculty fellowships to disseminate knowledge and experiences Close cooperation with industry Endowment model for excellence and sustainability Scholarship program funded by countries, private sector and bilateral/ multilateral donors

11 Nigeria Proposed center for offshore petroleum engineering (G2i) Nigeria Main AIST campus in Abuja South Africa Center for applied mathematics (partnering with the existing African Institute for Mathematical Sciences) Tanzania Prospective second campus on Life Sciences Burkina Faso Proposed center for water and environmental engineering The Concept – Campuses

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