Earlier this June, several African nations came together to create the Regional Scholarship and Innovative fund to recommit to developing technology skills. The fund is a partnership that will help create thousands of new jobs across Africa, as well as develop specialized skills for African workers everywhere.
The fund is a project facilitated by the World Bank’s Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET). The initiative of PASET is “to accelerate the creation of a skilled, high-quality workforce in Africa to power Africa’s socio-economic transformation,” according to Ghanaweb.com.
The fund was created out of a $5 million investment from the World Bank back in 2013. Africa’s decision to commit itself to advancing skills in science and technology stems from a disparaging gap in work skills between African workers and workers worldwide.
The idea behind the fund is modeled after similar ideas done by Brazil, India and China years ago when their own economies were struggling. By deciding to invest heavily in science and technological research, these global powerhouses reinvented themselves by cultivating specialized skills for their workforces.
One specific area of reform targeted by the fund is the immediate training of 10,000 doctors across Africa to begin bolstering the continent’s health issues. By making an effort to modernize key industries such as medicine and engineering, Africa is preparing to step onto the same level as other major global powers.
The fund seeks to develop essential 21st century skills in Africans in the hopes that it will help “bring together all partners – public and private, traditional and emerging partners.” By allowing the African workforce to develop into a self-sustaining group, Africa can begin to move away from a heavy dependence on foreign aid.
PASET is the means by which Africa will enter a new era of social and economic development. The skills being taught to Africans will affect agriculture, infrastructure and modern medicine in a continent plagued by poverty and malnutrition. With the World Bank behind it, Africa is poised to leap into the 21st century as an economic power.
– Diego Alejandro Catala