Mandela Institute Seeks to Narrow Science, Technology Gap in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Nelson Mandela, along with a number of distinguished African scholars, is determined to lead Sub-Saharan Africa out of the furrows of economic instability using science and technology.

The Nelson Mandela Institution for Knowledge Building and the Advancement of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa, or NMI, introduced Mandela's latest effort in Washington last month.

In partnership with the World Bank Institute and the World Bank Group-IMF African Society, the NMI will launch the African Institute of Science and Technology, four worldclass educational institutions of science and technology evenly distributed throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. These institutions will promote excellence in science and engineering and seek to narrow the growing scientific and technological gaps between Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world.

The Sub-Saharan African Learning Network will be an added feature of the AIST program. The establishment of the network will facilitate continuing education and knowledge distribution and will enhance the collaboration between the AIST regional institutes and private industry, public policy makers and other academic institutions.

Dr. Frannie A. Leautier, vice president of the World Bank Institute, says the capacity of Sub-Saharan Africa to progress both scientifically and technologically will determine the outcome of the continent's future. No country has been able to develop without investing in science and technology.

While technological advances have propelled the development of other poverty-stricken nations, Sub-Saharan Africa's lack of technological advancement has submerged it deeper into economic instability. …