WEST AFRICA: Bank to fund higher education

The African Development Bank is joining forces with the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union to invest in higher education for the first time. Mohamed H'Midouche, the bank's regional representative, told a meeting in Dakar that the bank's funding would total FCFA30 billion (US$55.8 million).

H'Midouche was speaking at a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of independence of Senegal and 16 other African countries, organised by the Centre Africain de Complémentarité Scolaire, Universitaire et de Promotion, a non-governmental organisation that aims to contribute to African development through education and ICTs, reported the Agence de Presse Sénégalaise of Dakar.

The theme of the conference, held at the University Cheikh Anta Diop, was the 'Contribution of the AfDB to financing the socio-economic development of Africa, and prospects - The case of Senegal'

H'Midouche spoke in favour of involving universities in the development of the continent,. "We are looking for efficient university proceed with research into development," he said.

The bank would encourage the setting up of units within university campuses to bring together researchers, public and private companies and financial backers such as the Pan-African Bank.

H'midouche also presented his bank's activities concerning development in Africa, especially those concerning the funding of major projects, financing the economies of WAEMU member countries and aid for the least advanced countries.

The eight members of the WAEMU are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinée Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.