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PRESS RELEASE August 29, 2019

World Bank, Japan to Support Human Capital Development Through Education in Africa

Yokohama, August 29, 2019 – The World Bank and the Government of Japan today announced a new Africa-focused initiative aimed at advancing the goals of the Human Capital Project, a global effort to accelerate more and better investments in people for greater equity and economic growth.

The Government of Japan views the initiative as a way to share Japanese experiences in human capital development through improvements in basic education and the building of science, technology and innovation capacity in universities. This investment also aims to strengthen bonds between African and Japanese universities and corporations in applied scientific research and innovation.

The multi-year initiative, which was announced during the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, will support two key initiatives of relevance to African countries:

  • The Global Education Policy Dashboard. Together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID), the World Bank is developing a policy dashboard focused on giving governments in low- and middle- income countries a better understanding of what’s going on in their education systems at the school and system level in basic education, so they can make, and track the impact of, real-time policy decisions at the national level.
  • A Japan-Africa higher education partnership aimed at increasing collaboration between Japanese universities and industries and African universities to address urgent developmental challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. This collaboration will leverage two regional platforms supported by the World Bank: The Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE)  and the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET).

“This unique initiative will help increase the capacity of Africa’s universities in science, technology and innovation, while supporting African governments—via the Dashboard—in their efforts to ensure that Africa’s youngest learners are better prepared to succeed,” said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region.

African countries will benefit from partnerships and technical assistance from Japanese universities and companies and hands-on learning opportunities to commercialize research with Japanese companies. African governments will also have an easy-access to international case studies including Japan, policy, and relevant data to develop foundational skills in basic education through the dashboard.

“We welcome the partnership of African countries, including Rwanda, with the World Bank and the Government of Japan to leverage innovative research, based on decades of experience from Japan to improve quality of basic education, and develop strategies to catalyze innovative research, extend the use of digital technologies in applied research, and build capacity in commercializing research, said Eugène Mutimura, Minister of Education of Rwanda, and Vice-Chair of PASET Governing Board.

Investing in people through nutrition, health care, quality education, jobs and skills helps develop human capital that is key to ending extreme poverty and creating more inclusive societies. The initiative announced today will help African countries build a highly-skilled generation of young people capable of competing in the economy of the future.


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