Columbia University has established a Global Center for Africa in Nairobi, the first such institution in the continent. At the launching of the facility at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki welcomed its establishment as a positive contribution to the achievement of Kenya's Vision 2030.
He also welcomed the decision by the Columbia Global Center to establish links with regional organizations such as the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa, ECOWAS and IGAD as well as institutions of higher learning and the private sector. The President of Columbia University, Professor Lee Bollinger noted that the establishment of the centre would go a long way towards creating real linkages between higher learning institutions in the region. Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam, who also attended the launch of the project, welcomed its establishment.
He noted that the facility will offer practical solutions to challenges at regional and continental level. He expressed the Government of Ethiopia's support to the centre whose new technologies, he said, would help the country realize its sustainable development agenda. The new facility will host the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Centre for East and Southern Africa as a flagship program and will implement and support the Millennium Villages Project in six countries, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia. On the occasion of his visit to Kenya, Prime Minster Hailemariam also held discussions with President Kibaki on bilateral and regional issues.