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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

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ImageOther news from around the world

World Bank Approves $8 Million Grant for Education in the Gambia

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors have approved an international Development Association (IDA) grant of US$8 million to assist the Government of The Gambia in providing equitable access to high quality education. The Third Education Sector project, Phase 2 aims to improve conditions for teaching and learning in basic education through improving performance of students, teachers and schools, strengthening capacity building and performance management expanding access to underserved communities. It will support the Government’s Education Policy, which aims to provide equitable access to education, from early childhood to tertiary education including adult and non formal education, and focus on improving learning outcomes at all levels. In Gambia, primary school completion is now at 62% and is expected to increase to 80% by 2010, and to 100% by 2015. Source: Databank

World Development Indicators 2006


ImageNEPAD-COHRED partnership supports African health research by Africans

More funding must go directly to African countries for research on their health priorities, to be carried out by African organisations and their researchers. This is the goal of the partnership between NEPAD and COHRED – the Council on Health Research for Development. The two organisations are intensifying efforts with African countries to significantly improve their capacity and systems for doing health research over the coming five years. The ultimate goal of this effort is the generation of more African-based health research.  The partnership is framed in a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. It taps COHRED’s experience and practical approaches to health research system building with many developing countries, and directly supports implementation of the NEPAD Health Strategy

Uganda receives support for Millennium Science Initiative

The World Bank has approved US$30 million for Uganda’s Millennium Science Initiative Project.  This development objective is for Ugandan universities and research institutes to produce more and better qualified science and engineering graduates, and higher quality and more relevant research, and for firms to utilize these outputs to improve productivity for the sake of enhancing Science and Technology-led (S&T) growth. The project consists of the MSI Funding Facility which provides competitively-awarded grants dedicated to a specific purpose. These include research groups led by senior researchers or emerging investigators to conduct relevant, high-quality scientific and technological research closely connected to graduate training and the creation of undergraduate programs in basic science and engineering at licensed public and private institutions and/or the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing degree programs in basic science and engineering. The funds will also support private sector cooperation and an Outreach Program.

UNESCO - African Students the Most Mobile in the World

Tertiary students from sub-Saharan Africa are the most mobile in the world, with one out of every 16 – or 5.6 percent - studying abroad, according to a report from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).  "What this report shows is that the real dynamic in tertiary education is coming from African, Arab and Chinese students. They are the driving force behind the internationalization of higher education," says Hendrik van der Pol, UIS Director.  Source: Pambazuka News 

Young Professionals Program Accepting Applications

The Young Professionals Program is a starting point for an exciting career in the World Bank. The Program is designed to attract outstanding young and motivated individuals from around the world, who have demonstrated a commitment to development, supported by academic success, professional achievement and potential for leadership. The Program recruits through a highly selective and competitive process and then facilitates their rapid integration into the World Bank's business and culture.  Highly qualified and motivated young people skilled in areas relevant to the Bank's operations such as Economics, Finance, Education, Public Health, Social Sciences, Engineering, Urban Planning, and Natural Resource Management are encouraged to submit applications to the Young Professionals Program by August 31. Among other criteria, applicants must be citizens of a Bank member country, 32 years of age or younger when entering the Program, fluent in English and have obtained a master's degree or equivalent at the time of application. Those selected spend 18 to 20 months as Young Professionals before they are confirmed into regular positions in the Bank.
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/ EXTHRJOBS/0,,contentMDK:20519630~menuPK:
1477630~pagePK:64262408~piPK :64262191~theSitePK:1058433,00.html

Enterprise Surveys

This Private Sector Development site contains data on the investment climate in 68 countries, based on surveys of almost 38,000 firms. Enterprise surveys measure business perceptions of the investment climate, and can be used to analyze the link to job creation and productivity growth. Benin, Chile, Mauritius, and Morocco have been added to the Enterprise Surveys database.

OECD Survey offers Optimism for Africa

A new report says that there is reason to be optimistic about the world's second largest continent.But the upbeat message is escorted by words of caution from two development economists of repute: Louka Katseli, director of the OECD Development Centre in Paris and Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank in Tunis.  "While prospects for much of Africa are more favourable than they have been in the recent past, human security continues to be severely affected by weak governance structures, conflicts and the vulnerability that accompanies extreme poverty," Katseli and Kaberuka write in the preface to the latest African Economic Outlook (AEO). This is the fifth in a series of annual Outlooks by the Development Centre of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). The Development Centre is an interface between OECD member countries and the emerging and developing economies. The survey offers a comparative panorama of the economic, political and social evolution of 30 African economies from 2005 to 2007, covering 87 percent of the population and 90 percent of the continent's revenue. Source: IPS News Agency

Nigeria to Host African VOIP Forum

The world is again recognising the importance of the Nigerian telecoms market in the development of the African digital age as it shifts attention to Lagos, Nigeria between July 31 and August 3, 2006 for the third annual African VOIP Forum.  Source: Pambazuka News

SUDAN Launches Open Access Digital Library

The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) have launched the Sudan Open Archive, an open-access digital library for Sudan, containing documents that until now were largely unavailable in digital form. The first phase of the archive involved the digitisation of around 500 documents drawn from the records of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), the international relief effort that started in 1989.  Documents in the archive include ‘Operation Lifeline Sudan: A Review’ (1996); ‘An Introduction to the Food Economies of Southern Sudan’ (1998); ‘The Southern Sudan Vulnerability Study’ (1999 edition); ‘The Jonglei Field Officers Handbook’ (1998); and ‘Towards a Baseline: Best Estimates of Social Indicators for Southern Sudan’ (2004). Also included are the official, signed texts of more recent documents, such as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005) and the report of the Abyei Boundaries Commission (2005, with maps).  The Sudan Open Archive is available at: www.sudanarchive.net

Contemporary African Art Exhibition held in Angola

An exhibition of contemporary African art has opened in Luanda.  The Sindika Dokolo Foundation, which organised the exhibition, said it included 90 paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos and installations by 48 artists from 22 countries. The aim, it said, was to create a contemporary art centre with the prerequisites for involving Luanda in international art networks.  The exhibition was part of a Luanda triennial that will continue for the whole of 2006.  It was planned and financed by public and private Angolan cultural figures and institutions with the aim of promoting African culture and art in Africa and the world.  

Ford Foundation Announces Africa Initiative

The Ford Foundation has announced the creation of a new philanthropic venture, led by Africans and based in Dakar, Senegal. The project, Trust Africa, aims to strengthen an expanding network of nonprofit groups across the continent that seeks to hold governments accountable.  Ford has committed $30 million to this new foundation. Half the money will finance a permanent endowment, and the other half will be used to provide grants to many groups over the next five years. Trust Africa's executive director, Akwasi Aidoo, a Ghanaian who formerly headed Ford's offices in Senegal and Nigeria, said it would strive to build links among civil society groups that could tackle regional problems of violent conflict, economic development and social justice. Trust Africa hopes to build a base of support that goes well beyond the Ford Foundation. It plans to raise donations from the African diaspora.

Rhodes University Announces Research Scholarships for South Africa

Applications are invited from suitably qualified students to study full-time at Rhodes University in 2007 through the Rhodes University Prestigious Scholarships for Research in the PhD. Programme on Citizenship, Nation and Identity.  Two awards are offered and the overriding criterion for the award of the Scholarship is academic merit (70%), although other factors such as service to the community, intra- or extra-murally, could be taken into account.  Applicants must pursue the PhD Programme on Citizenship, Nation and Identity.  Since these are Scholarships, financial need is not a criterion for these awards. Applicants must be younger than 36 years of age at the time of applying. Open to all citizens. Initially for one year but renewable depending on satisfactory progress for a further two years upon re-application each year.  Deadline: 3 July 2006 for applications to: The Dean of Research’s Office, Rhodes University.  Source: Pambazuka News

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Scholarship Exchange Programme

As part of its ongoing commitment to training, MISA offers a scholarship exchange programme, which is facilitated by the Regional Secretariat in Windhoek, Namibia. The programme assists individual media practitioners in all areas of the media (managerial, editorial, advertising, and technical) to work on attachment in another media institution to learn new skills and develop existing ones. This includes both full-time employees and freelancers. Individuals who are involved in human rights organisations in a media capacity may also be considered.  All applicants must be MISA members and annual subscriptions to the relevant MISA national chapter must be paid up in full. Applications can be made at any time of the year.  http://www.misa.org/exchange.html

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