Funding plea for HE and research development ‘motor’

Madagascar’s government is seeking contributions from international partners to promote and equip higher education and research to be the ‘motor’ of its national development plan. Among the proposals is a competitive fund for innovation to finance research in priority sectors.

Marie Monique Rasoazananera, minister for higher education and research, explained her plans to members of the country’s technical and financial partners, or PTF, group which includes international donor organisations such as the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme and AFD, the French Development Agency.

She told them: “The state is engaged through the programme of public investment in equipping the laboratories of the national scientific research centres each year,” reported L’Express de Madagascar.

“However, we need €10 million [US$10.8 million] to finance the national scientific research strategy. The aim is to make higher education and scientific research a true motor of development.”

To this end, the Ministry of Higher Education was setting up a competitive fund for innovation which, explained the fund’s coordinator Andrianarison Rakotomahavita, would be a “long-term action, financed by national resources under the law of public finances”, but which was also “open to financial and economic partners”, reported L’Express.

Rakotomahavita added that MGA450 million (US$147,000) was available to fund equipment for the laboratories of winning projects, which will focus on the priority sectors of renewable energies, health and biodiversity, environment and climate change, and agriculture and food safety.

L’Express reported that the technical and financial partners were ‘cautious’ about the initiative. According to a source, they were “seeking a real engagement by the state before deciding which actions to finance”.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.