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U.S. Foundations Expand Support for African Universities

I’m Shep O'Neal with the VOA Special English Education Report.

Six organizations in the United States say they will provide two hundred million dollars for higher education in Africa. The money is to be spent over the next five years to support universities in seven African countries.

The organizations include the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford Foundation. The others are the MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The universities are in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan joined leaders of the six foundations in the announcement. He said African universities are important to the continent's future development, governance and peace.

The new investment includes more than five million dollars to provide faster computer links to the Internet at a reduced cost. The foundations entered into an agreement with the satellite operator Intelsat to provide the service.

Four of the foundations involved in the new project began to work together to support African universities in two thousand. The Carnegie Corporation and the Ford, MacArthur and Rockefeller foundations joined to create the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa.

The partnership says it has provided more than one hundred fifty million dollars so far. The money has gone for universities in Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Kenya joined this year.

Foundation officials report much progress over the past five years. Examples include the creation of the Journal of Higher Education in Africa. This publication is a place for experts to share ideas and discuss issues facing African higher education.

The partnership also has provided more than ten million dollars to help almost one thousand women attend African universities. And in Uganda, it has made possible a university program that aims to increase the number and quality of trained public workers.

Foundation officials say the partnership will help Africa’s young people get the education they need to prepare them to lead their nations into the future.

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. Our reports can be found on the Internet at This is Shep O'Neal.