Over the next five years, six of the largest U.S. foundations will invest a total of $200 million in a program to boost universities in seven African countries.
The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, launched in 2000 with a five-year investment of $150 million, was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford, MacArthur and Rockefeller foundations.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have joined in for this latest round of funding.
The effort aims to strengthen higher education in seven countries — Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
About $5 million of the investment will be used to increase the bandwidth and lower the cost for Internet access for a group of the universities.
The partnership cites several successes during the first five years of the effort,
* At Nigeria’s University of Ibadan, 60 percent of the school’s operations were online in 2007, compared to zero in 2001.
* South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal created a five-year doctoral program to help improve Africa’s homegrown food supply.
* More than $10 million in scholarships have been awarded to women to Nigeria, South African, Tanzania and Uganda.