NAIROBI, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank and South Korea on Friday signed a 3.8 million U.S. dollar grant agreement to facilitate development of cutting edge skills in scientific and technological fields in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Bank said the grant is part of the 9 million dollar pledge by South Korea to support the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) aimed at building world class capacity in science and technology across Africa.
"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," said Sajitha Bashir, World Bank's Education Practice Manager for eastern and southern Africa in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The Korean grant that will be managed by the World Bank as a Trust Fund will be implemented by the Nairobi-based International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) to support technical skills upgrade in Africa under the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences Engineering and Technology (PASET) initiative.
"PASET is delighted to receive this contribution from the government of Korea, which marks the launch of new phase for the RSIF," said Amina Mohamed, Kenya's cabinet secretary for education and chairperson of the PASET governing council.
"We deeply appreciate Korea's support to PASET and Africa in recent years and look forward to continued long-term mutual partnership towards building African capacity in science, technology and innovation to propel the continent's transformation," she added.
The World Bank and Korean government in May signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) where Seoul agreed to set up a 10 million dollars trust fund at the Bretton Woods Institution to help strengthen Africa's technical and scientific capacity.
This funding will facilitate award of scholarships and research for university students and faculty members to boost their competence in areas that can transform Africa including renewable energy, big data, artificial intelligence, climate change and food security.