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World Bank: Zambia’s development partner

THE World Bank has collaborated with Zambia since 1955 and ranks as the country’s largest development partner in terms of volume of financing.
Through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the third world countries, the global financial institution has supported projects from micro up to macro projects.
Apart from direct budget support, the World Bank has also been supporting projects such as the irrigation development, Zambia Integrated Forest Project, Livestock Development and Animal Health, road rehabilitation and maintenance, Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project, the Public Financial Management Reform Programme Phase I , Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood projects.
These projects involve training our workers in good governance, alleviating poverty, building infrastructure and equipping our people with skills.
We are, therefore, happy that Zambia is one of the eastern and southern African countries whose institutions of higher education are set to benefit from the new World Bank financing to a tune of US$12 million aimed at improving training and research capabilities.
The funding is also aimed at strengthening the delivery of quality education as they seek innovative solutions to Africa’s development needs.
According to a statement issued by the World Bank in Lusaka yesterday, the World Bank has approved the Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project (ACE II).
The World Bank board approved US$140 million through the IDA for the implementation of ACEII.
Of the US$140 million, Zambia has received US$12 million with Ethiopia getting US$24 million, Kenya US$18 million, Malawi US$12 million, Mozambique US$6 million, Rwanda US$20 million, Tanzania US$24 million and Uganda US$24 million.
The World Bank added that the US$8 million grant will be channelled to the Inter-University Council for East Africa, the regional facilitation unit, which will co-ordinate and administer the implementation of the project.
“Home-grown research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is at the heart of innovation and enterprise as economies diversify and grow, and face common challenges from climate change to urbanisation.
“The Africa centres of excellence initiative is creating synergies in higher education across the sub-region by optimising limited resources and deepening cooperation between countries, while equipping young people with highly relevant skills and knowledge,” said Moustapha Ndiaye, World Bank coordinating director for regional Integration.
We thank the World Bank for its generosity because part of the money will be used to fund research.
The IDA credit will finance the strengthening of 24 competitively-selected ACEs in five clusters.
These include industry, agriculture, health, education and applied statistics and that each of these 24 specialised regional centres will receive up to US$6 million for implementing its proposal in a specific regional priority area.
Research is important because it informs action.
We are extremely delighted that the funds are also designed for training because it presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of trainees – which is a worthwhile investment.
For this to happen, countries like Zambia have to rely more on higher level science and technology skills and knowledge.
It will make higher education more relevant, thus being critical to the on-going socio-economic transformation and future development in Africa.
Young Africans in participating universities and their partner institutions across eastern and southern Africa will significantly benefit from high quality education and training in relevant subjects.
Countries like Zambia will share innovations and good practices in teaching and learning, and enhance cross-border research networks with this collaborative regional approach.