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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M wins international grant on African affairs

Texas A&M received an international accolade on April 14, earning a grant that pairs the University with the University of Namibia to address regional and national issues in the Sub-Saharan region.
A&M was one of the winners of the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative Planning Grant Competition, an event supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Higher Education for Development, HED.
The applications were reviewed by panels of independent peers that based its decision on qualifications by the HED. The reviewers were chosen to represent a variety of regional expertise and were staff members of American institutions of higher learning.
The competition pairs universities and colleges in the U.S. with institutions of higher education in Africa to create development projects for the benefit of poverty stricken areas in Sub-Saharan regions.
“This competition is an important opportunity to build the kind of higher education capacity critical to the development of Africa,” said Joseph Carney, director of USAID’s Office of Education. “We are delighted to see this effort moving forward and expect great results from these planning grants.”
The competition was inspired by the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative summit meeting in Rwanda, a joint effort by higher learning institutions and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.
“This initiative will produce long-term relationships,” said Peter McPherson, president of the association. “The [response] speaks volumes about the internationalization of our campuses.”
Tully Cornick, executive director of HED, said the competition received attention from higher education institutions. “We were elated by the astounding number of highly qualified applications received and even more pleased by how many applications demonstrated a strong understanding of higher education needs in Africa,” he said.
The competition received more than 300 applications. The U.S. was represented by a large number of universities and more than 30 Sub-Saharan countries were represented in the contest.
The Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative Planning Grant, which consists of $50,000, is awarded to 20 institutions that will be partnered for the development of a project.
Among the subjects covered by the projects, the most prominent include agriculture, engineering, science and technology, economics and health.
“The [winners] represent the best of these applications,” Cornick said. “It is our belief that measurable and sustainable impact [will be] made in these African countries.”

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