Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The World Bank and the government of Japan have announced a new Africa-focused initiative aimed at advancing the goals of human capital project.
The initiative is a global effort to accelerate more and better investments in people for greater equity and economic growth. The government of Japan views the initiative as a way to share Japanese experiences in human capital development through improvements in basic education and the building of science, technology and innovation capacity in universities. This investment also aims to strengthen bonds between African and Japanese universities and corporations in applied scientific research and innovation.
The bank said the multi-year initiative, which was announced during the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, will support two key initiatives of relevance to African countries: The Global Education Policy Dashboard.
Together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID), the World Bank is “developing a policy dashboard focused on giving governments in low- and middle- income countries a better understanding of what’s going on in their education systems at the school and system level in basic education, so they can make and track the impact of real-time policy decisions at the national level.”
The other, it said is a Japan-Africa higher education partnership aimed at increasing collaboration between Japanese universities and industries and African universities to address urgent developmental challenges in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the bank, this collaboration will leverage two regional platforms supported by the World Bank: The Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) and the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET). The World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, Hafez Ghanem, said “This unique initiative will help increase the capacity of Africa’s universities in science, technology and innovation, while supporting African governments – via the Dashboard – in their efforts to ensure that Africa’s youngest learners are better prepared to succeed.”