WENR, May 2007: Africa
First Graduate Degree in Fossil Fuels Launched
The oil-rich nation of Angola, located in southwest Africa, has launched its first graduate degree program in oil, gas and energy studies at the Law Faculty of state-run Agostinho Neto University. The purpose of the program is to equip the native workforce employed by hydrocarbon industries with the integrated and specialized skills required by the field. Forty of 100 applicants from various oil companies operating in the country were accepted into the first year of the program. The program will be taught by Angolan, US and Brazilian lecturers.-Angola Press Agency
April 17, 2007
New Education Structure Introduced
The Ghanaian government is introducing a new structure to its education system that will extend the duration of compulsory education and of secondary schooling. The changes will extend to 11 years the period of free, compulsory universal basic education up until the age of 15, and secondary schooling from three years to four years.
The new system, which will come into effect with the new academic year in September, will constitute two years of pre-school education starting at age four, followed by six years of primary education and three years of junior high school. Students who complete this period of basic education can then enroll in four years of senior high school (formerly “senior secondary school”). Senior high school students will follow a general education curriculum with electives offered in general arts, business and a number of vocationally oriented options. An apprenticeship program is also being introduced in conjunction with industry allowing students who enter the workforce after junior high school the opportunity to learn a trade. Costs of the first year will reportedly be borne by the government.
The reforms are aimed, in part, at diversifying the skills of high school graduates to better meet the needs of Ghana’s growing economy.
– Accra Mail
April 15, 2007
Partnership for Higher Education in Africa Welcomes new Foundation
The US-based Kresge Foundation has joined the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa to expand its current commitment in Africa, which is designed to build the private fundraising capacity of South African universities and hospitals. By working through the Partnership, Kresge joins a group of U.S. foundations that regularly fund African universities, offering the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from peer foundations to help strengthen higher education on the continent.
The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa was founded in May 2000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation to coordinate support for higher education in Africa. From 2000 through 2005, the Partnership foundations contributed more than US$150 million to build core capacity and support special initiatives at universities in six African countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Kenya, Egypt and Madagascar were added in 2006.
The main focus of the Partnership during the first five years was the development of universities’ physical infrastructure, human resources and organizational capacity. A new five-year commitment was launched in September 2005 by then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the presidents of the partnering foundations and two new foundations: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A minimum of $200 million was pledged through 2010.
|– News release
April 25, 2007
Joint US-Kenya University Response to HIV/AIDS Nominated for Nobel Prize
The Academic Model for Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (AMPATH), developed by the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Moi University School of Medicine in Kenya, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Only a concept seven years ago, AMPATH now treats 42,000 HIV-positive Kenyan patients at 19 clinical sites throughout western Kenya. More than 1.3 million Kenyan men, women and children are living with HIV/AIDS. AMPATH addresses the social stigma of the disease while providing medication to treat it and helping people become self-sufficient by providing food, jobs and agricultural assistance.
– IU News release
April 25, 2007
Secondary School Tuition Fees to go the Way of Primary Fees
Tuition fees will be abolished in public secondary schools with effect from January 2008. According to statements made in a Labor Day speech by President Mwai Kibaki, funds are being made available in the government’s next budget to meet the cost of tuition at Kenya’s more than 4,000 public secondary schools. About one million students are currently enrolled in public and private secondary schools countrywide. Parents will still be responsible for other costs – boarding, salaries for non-teaching staff, uniform, water and electricity bills and co-curricular activities – which cumulatively account for more than 80 percent of secondary school fees.
The move follows the 2003 scrapping of tuition fees at the nation’s public primary schools. It is hoped that it will allow a majority of children in primary school to transition to secondary school. The current rate of secondary enrollments among primary school graduates is 60 percent (up 3 percent from 2005).
–The Daily Nation
Economic Impact of Brain Drain in Africa Estimated at US $4bn Annually
The United Nations Development Program estimates that the African brain drain has cost the continent over US$4 billion in the employment of 150,000 expatriate professionals annually. UNDP Administrator, Kemal Deris, said at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 11th African Regional Meeting that since 1990 Africa has been losing 20,000 professionals on average every year.
“300,000 professionals reside outside Africa. Ethiopia lost 75 per cent of its skilled workforce between 1980 and 1991. This large exodus of qualified Africans is a huge burden on the African economy. African institutions are increasingly dependent on foreign expertise. To fill the human resource gap created by the brain drain, Africa employs up to 150,000 expatriate professionals at a cost of $4 billion a year. Coupled with the loss of trained professionals due to HIV/AIDS, brain drain erodes the valuable human capital critically needed for economic growth and human development,” Deris said.
|– This Day
April 26, 2007
Eight New Universities Approved
Provisional approval has been granted by the National Universities Commission for the establishment of eight new private universities in Nigeria, which when operational will bring the total number of public and private institutions in the country to 89. The newly approved universities have been named as Ogbong University, Akwa Ibom State; Caleb University, Ikosi, Lagos State; Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State; Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State; Veritas University in the Federal Capital Territory, Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo State and Western University, Oghara, Delta State.
– This Day
May 3, 3007
South African Leg of Africa-Wide e-schools Initiative Launched
The first of six proposed e-schools was opened in April by President Thabo Mbeki. Maripe Secondary School is equipped with computers connected wirelessly to the Internet as well as printers, fax machines, scanners and copiers. The six e-schools in South Africa form part of a continent-wide e-schools program being developed by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad). The first e-school was opened in Uganda in June 2005, but there is still a long way to go in order to achieve the ultimate goal of equipping 600,000 African schools by 2015. Hewlett-Packard, in consortium with other technology companies, has signed on to sponsor 21 e-schools in seven African countries.
– Business Day
April 19, 2007
Preschool Year to Be Guaranteed to All
The South African government is making funds available in preparation to meet its promise of making Grade R – a preschool year ahead of Grade 1 – universally available by 2010, according to Education Minister Naledi Pandor. At least 7 million of South Africa’s 12 million school pupils still lack basic literacy skills, according to Cynthia Hugo, founder-director of Read, a nongovernmental literacy organization. The ministry wants all children to have the option of attending a Grade R facility by 2010, and its records show 441,621 preschoolers did so last year. There are about 6 million children of preschool age in South Africa.
– Business Day
April 25, 2007
Universal Secondary Education Program Boosts Enrollments
After a preliminary count, enrollments in the first year of secondary education at Ugandan public schools are up 17 percent year-on-year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Education in April. The increase is a direct result of the introduction in February of the Universal Secondary Education program, which guarantees a free secondary education to all Ugandan children.
– New Vision
April 22, 2007
Mugabe Unconcerned with Threats to Revoke Honorary Degrees
Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, has had a significant fall from grace since the halcyon days of independence in the late 1970s, and is today viewed in the West as one of the world’s worst tyrants. Now, universities that were lining up to recognize with honorary degrees the man who liberated his country from colonial rule are looking at ways of revoking those doctorates. However, Mugabe could not care less according to reports from The Herald, a pro-government newspaper, which says he has earned seven degrees and “does not lose sleep” over such matters. A Mugabe spokesperson quoted by the paper suggested that Western universities are the ones who should be concerned. “Honorary degrees are exactly that, an unsolicited honor from the giver. The president did not accost anyone to confer the honor. If anything, those Western universities improved their international profile by associating themselves with the president.” Among the institutions where some want to see the honorary degrees revoked are Edinburgh University, in Scotland, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Michigan State University.
– The Herald
April 25, 2007