The World Bank and Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) noted the impressive strides made in strengthening science and technology in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with Korea’s support through the PASET partnership over the past 6 years. These comments were made during a meeting with representatives from the Government of Korea and Korean institutions, African Ambassadors and African PhD scholars studying in Korea as part of the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF).
The Government of Korea has been a close partner of the Africa-led regional PASET partnership since 2013 and has provided financial and technical support to African countries on developing science and technology capacity in line with its Official Development Assistance (ODA) strategy. The partnership through PASET has allowed many African countries to leverage and learn from Korea’s successful development experience.
“PASET is grateful for the support and friendship of Korea thus far in laying a strong foundation for the initiative. We look forward to the continued support of the Korean government and institutions to help achieve our vision of an Africa that is at the forefront of transformative technologies and innovation and where our youth can thrive and achieve their highest potential,” said Aminata Sall Diallo, Executive Director of the PASET Executive Board.
The event held today will further strengthen the collaboration between Korea, African governments and the World Bank on PASET over the coming years including in emerging areas such as digital technology and skills for future jobs.
“Korea will continue to support building high-level skills amongst Africa’s youth with aim to leverage the potential of ICT and innovation to prepare SSA students, faculty and institutions for future jobs under the 4th Industrial Revolution” said Sangwoon Park, Deputy Director for Development Finance Division, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Republic of Korea.
The event highlighted 4 successful areas of collaboration:
1. Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF): In May 2018, the Government of Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Bank to provide a US$10 million grant to support PASET’s RSIF, a pan-African science fund. The investment is enabling young African scholars to pursue PhDs and research in the region's priority topics for development such as ICT, Food Security and Climate Change.
2. Collaboration with Korean institutions and companies: Partnerships have been established with various Korean universities and institutions — Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST); Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER); Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), and Seoul National University (SNU) – for joint research and training programs under the RSIF program. These exciting collaborations between Korean and African researchers and innovators aim to identify solutions for Africa’s key challenges. The Samsung Dream Scholarship Foundation is also collaborating on the RSIF, offering leadership programs and financial support to select African RSIF scholars studying in Korea.
3. Participation in PASET Governance: Korea is represented in each of PASET’s governance bodies and provides strategic and technical inputs that help shape the partnership and determine its direction. The Ministry of Economy and Finance of Korea sits on the Ministerial-level Governing Council, Korea Development Institute (KDI) is represented on the managerial Executive Board and a skills expert from HRD Korea contributes to the technical-level Consultative Advisory Group.
4. Knowledge sharing: Korean expertise and experiences have been introduced through various knowledge sharing activities, programs and events that have seen the participation of over 30 sub-Saharan African countries. This expertise has been incorporated into PASET’s initiatives and country development plans and projects.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The World Bank Group.