Abuja, 6 Dec. 2017 (ACBF) – Twelve female students sponsored by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) to study for postgraduate degrees in science and technology at the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja (AUST), are expected to give a shot in the arm of Africa’s drive towards transformation as they join 86 others to graduate on Saturday 9 December during AUST’s seventh commencement ceremony to be held in Abuja.
The students, from Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, who enjoyed full scholarships provided by ACBF in the 2016/2017 academic year, have successfully completed the Master of Science degrees in Computer Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Pure and Applied Mathematics, and Theoretical and Applied Physics. Upon graduation, they would bring to 69, the number of post-graduates rigorously trained as some of Africa’s most innovative scientists and engineers, with scholarships from ACBF amounting to over US$1 million since 2013. Fifteen of those have graduated with PhDs.
All 12 ACBF beneficiaries graduating on Saturday were selected under the Foundation’s scholarship program for young African women to propel Africa to actively support skills building in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to enable the continent, achieve its own development.
And to attest to the quality of the program, one of this year’s scholars supported by ACBF has won a prestigious “Debut in Research: Young talents from Africa Prize” instituted by the Italian energy and engineering giant Eni to promote and reward research and technological innovation in the fields of energy and environment. The winner is Blessing Onyeche Ugwoke who just completed her M.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering. She was formally presented with the prize by the Italian President on 5October.
Ms. Ugwoke’s success is a clear testimony to what ACBF-supported skills building programs can do for Africa’s transformation. It shows that now is the time for partners to support the Foundation to do more in this regard at a time when the continent is in dire need of the right people with the right skills and innovative drive in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to join forces with those in development management to leverage continental plans such as Agenda 2063 as well as country development plans.”
ACBF’s research shows that Africa would require 4.3 million engineers to implement all its flagship projects necessary to achieve its development goals by 2063.
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ABOUT the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
Having spearheaded and robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth over 700 million US dollars across 45 countries and 8 regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa since 1991, ACBF has gathered the requisite experience that makes it the go-to institution for expert knowledge and human resources to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.
Evidence from our cutting-edge work (constituting hundreds of knowledge publications) and the work of several partners show that Africa's development efforts are being hobbled by severe capacity deficits often in the form of shortage of critical skills, deficits in leadership, inhibiting mindsets and weak institutions. The continent’s practical skills shortage is acute in key areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Agriculture.
At ACBF, we will continue using our unmatched track record in managing financial facilities for development, our vast knowledge gathering experience thanks to the exceptional skills mix of our core staff as well as our strong strategic partnerships and networks to help countries and institutions identify their capacity needs, advise them on how to plug these capacity weaknesses and on where to find the knowledge and resources to develop the requisite capacity resources, effectively use them and retain them to achieve their short and long-term development objectives.
ACBF’s vision is an Africa capable of achieving its own development.
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