30 June 2009

Rwanda: Kist, SFB Win U.S.$50,000 Each

Kigali — The School of Finance and Banking (SFB) and Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have won a $50,000 (Rwf28.5 million) grant each for long-term planning, from the Africa-US Higher Education Initiative.

The two institutions are among 20 African universities paired with 20 USA universities to develop regional and national economic development priorities in areas such as engineering, health, agriculture, the environment and natural resources, science and technology, education, business, management and economics.

According to media reports, KIST will partner with Durham Technical Community College of North Carolina, while SFB will collaborate with the University of the Pacific.

However, efforts to reach the institutions' administration were futile; the SFB acting Rector, Erasmus Kaijage, could not pick up his cell phone. KIST Vice-Rector Administration and Finance, Emmanuel Thomas Gatabazi, declined to give details about the grant.

The initiative is a result of collaboration between various groups in the US led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, following a proposal during the Higher Education Summit for Global Development.

The donations dubbed, 'Africa-US Higher Education Initiative Planning Grants' are supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US-based Higher Education for Development.

USAID is funding the grants, and the competition was managed by Higher Education for Development (HED), an organisation founded by six major US higher education associations to engage US colleges and universities in international development.

"It is our belief that if funding is found to implement these plans, we will see tangible, measurable and sustainable impact made in these African countries," Dr Tully Cornick, Executive Director of HED told journalists.

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