Source : Daily Monitor : Kampala – UGANDA is one of the seven African countries to benefit from a $200 million higher education boost in the next five years, a commitment by six of the US’s largest foundations.
The foundations include the Ford, Macarthur, Rockefeller, William and Flora Hewlett and the Andrew W. Mellon. The fund aims to build capacity of African universities and the field of higher education.
Other beneficiaries include Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. The investment includes more than $5m that will enable a consortium of African universities to obtain eight times the amount of Internet bandwidth available to them two years ago.
In a Press Statement issued to the Daily Monitor, recently, the foundations have entered into an agreement with Intelsat, a global satellite operator, to provide the bandwidth.
The Universities will share the 93,000 kilobits per second of Internet bandwidth each month, paying an average cost of $2.33 per kbps per month.
Most African universities currently pay an average of $7.30 per kbps per month.
As recently as two years ago, the total bandwidth available to them was only 12,000 kbps. In Uganda, Makerere University the main beneficiary, has done some progress through its joint efforts with the government to implement hands-on programmes to increase the quantity and quality of trained public servants, including a Novel Master’s Programme in Public Health aimed at supplying the country’s districts with new health systems managers.
Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa are some of the African countries that have advocated into slinging more women into leadership roles.
Over $10million academic scholarships have been awarded to almost 1000 students attending university.
In Nigeria, the university of Ibadan has moved from having only 25 dial-up links to the Internet five years ago, to a campus-wide system of 1000-networked computers using wired and wireless technologies. Sixty percent of all university operations will be online by 2007, up from zero in 2001.
At S.Africa’s university of Kwazulu-Natal, the African centre for crop improvement has established a five-year PhD. programme that trains plant breeders to develop new varieties of crops in hopes of bolstering the continent’s homegrown food supply.