Kuwait to help boost higher education in Africa

Kuwait has launched a US$1 million annual award for research in Africa, announced at the third African Arab Summit held under the theme "Partners in Development and Investment" in Kuwait from 19-20 November. And a Kuwaiti charity plans to establish a university in Malawi.

Kuwait’s Amir, Sheikh Sabah, launched the US$1 million prize in the name of the late Dr Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, focusing on development research in Africa. The award will be supervised by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

Also, the Kuwait declaration was issued at the African Arab Summit, calling among other things for strengthening cooperation in education and research, and sharing best practices in these fields through joint activities.

The summit also approved the recommendations of an Arab-Africa economic forum that ended on 12 November.

The forum called for an increase in grants for African students to study at Arab universities and vice versa, and for enhanced cooperation between Arab and African universities and research centres.

It urged governments and financial institutions to allocate more funding for agricultural research centres, to enable researchers to explore ways to improve agricultural practices to enhance crop production, particularly of cereal crops.

New university in Malawi

On 18 November, Malawi’s President Joyce Banda and the Kuwait-based non-profit organisation Direct Aid signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a university in Malawi, according to a press report.

It was pointed out that many poor students in Malawi were unable to continue to university. “Today's agreement enables us to work with full force in Malawi to serve the poor,” Direct Aid Chair Dr Abdulrahman Al-Muhailan was quoted as saying.

Al-Muhailan said the university in Malawi would enrol 2,000 to 3,000 students, who would be able to choose between four and five majors.

The university, Al-Muhailan added, would be the fourth such institution in Africa as Direct Aid had already built a university in Mogadishu with a capacity of 3,500 students, a university in Zanzibar with 1,500 students, and a university in Tanzania. Another university was also being built in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.