Kenyans, Rwandans and Ugandans: Blog to Win a Trip to Washington, DC

Deadline: December 02, 2016-January 15, 2017 | Online

Agriculture is the backbone of the East African regional economy, as it accounts for about 32% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Growth in the agriculture sector helps raise incomes, create employment opportunities, reduces poverty, and accounts for about 70% of employment opportunities in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. Despite being a field vibrant with innovations driven by young people, those engaged in agriculture are typically elderly, and the number of youth with jobs in agriculture continues to drop. Why are young people shying away from agriculture? How can agriculture be made ‘cool’ for the youth? It’s your turn to have your say. Tell us, in no more than 500 words, what you see as opportunities for youth to prosper in agriculture and agro-business.


Now in its third year, the #Blog4Dev Contest is an ideas-sharing platform for youth in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. This year, the World Bank wants you to share your thoughts on youth and agriculture.

For a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. in April 2017, discuss the following question in an original blog of no more than 500 words:

To farm or not to farm: What opportunities exist for youth to prosper in agriculture and agro-business?

Submit the blog post in English by January 15, 2017 here:


Must be a Kenyan, Rwandan or Ugandan citizen residing in your home country, and be aged between 18 and 28, and the blog post must be written in English.

Selecting Criteria:

A panel of judges made up of World Bank staff in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will review the submissions to determine the winning entries.

The winning submissions will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Originality and creativity
  • Clarity
  • Practicality
  • Potential for scale-up


Making higher education work for Africa: Key resources

Copyright: Jason Larkin / Panos

Copyright: Jason Larkin / Panos

By Irene Friesenhahn

Irene Friesenhahn rounds up sources of online information, highlighting key initiatives on Africa’s higher education

Several organisations address higher education in Africa through their work. The Carnegie Corporation of New York and UN agencies including UNESCO and the World Bank provide great online resources.

In 1980 UNESCO set up the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI), a regional NGO that facilitates collaboration and strengthens capacity for training and research. Since 2005, ANSTI has organised a biannual conference series — the Conference of Vice-Chancellors, Deans of Science Engineering and Technology (COVIDSET) — to discuss strategic issues in science and engineering education. The COVIDSET reports propose action plans for making science, engineering and technology training more relevant to development in Africa. UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report identifies effective policy reforms, best practice and emerging challenges and assesses progress towards achieving the ‘Dakar’ Education for All goals, which include increasing the number of students in higher education and linking education to the workplace. Another UNESCO initiative, Education Transforms Lives, promotes education as a development catalyst that increases health and raises the chances of employment. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics provides statistics and data on various aspects of higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as enrolment and mobility, and how graduates are distributed by field. UNESCO provides an up-to-date overview of educational spending in Africa in a spread sheet.

The World Bank has recently launched 19 centres of excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, located at universities in seven countries in West and Central Africa. A separate World Bank programme, Tertiary Education In Africa, focuses on six areas within the higher education sector in Sub-Saharan Africa: sustainable financing; diversification and public-private partnerships; governance and management; quality; labour market relevance and linkages; and regionalisation. The programme website offers publications analysing developments in these areas, including comparisons between different African countries. The World Bank also makes statistics and indicators on tertiary education worldwide available through EdStats. And its Open Knowledge Repository contains the Africa Development Indicators reports, one of the most elaborate series of statistical indicators on Africa’s development status. The repository also offers reports on the status of education, including tertiary education, in various African countries.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Higher Education and Libraries in Africa programme offers financial support and resource access to institutions and projects working to enhance capacity development in Sub-Saharan Africa. It also promotes networks and provides fellowships for scientists and scholars across the continent. The programme focuses on public libraries in South Africa and on excellence in postgraduate training, research and retention of scientists in their home nations (Ghana, South Africa and Uganda). In 2007, the Corporation also launched the Africa Regional Initiative in Science and Education. This aims to strengthen science and engineering research and teaching by supporting university-based networks — helping students access grants and career opportunities and training new faculty or upgrading staff qualifications.

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Setting Goals to Revitalize Africa’s Higher Education Systems

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan speaks at the African Higher Education Summit in Dakar, Senegal, on March 11th.



  • A continental summit in Dakar March 10-12 brought governments, academics, international development partners, and entrepreneurs together to develop a common vision towards transforming Africa’s higher education system.
  • Hosted by TrustAfrica, the summit explored the challenges currently confronting the continent in terms of investment, financing, harmonization, access, quality, diversity, and graduate employability.
  • Young Africans represent a burgeoning share of the population in many African countries; yet access to higher education trails at 7%.

DAKAR, March 12, 2014 — Heads of state, ministers of education, entrepreneurs, academics and international development partners gathered in Dakar from March 10-12 for three days to discuss the priorities and challenges facing African higher education systems in the 50 years to come.

Organized by TrustAfrica, the summit brought together stakeholders from across the continent to develop a common vision geared towards transforming the sector and making it more responsive to Africa’s needs in the 21st century.

Open Quotes The World Bank invests 20% of its education budget for Sub-Saharan Africa in higher education, representing approximately $600 million Close Quotes
Claudia Costin
Senior Director for Education at the World Bank Group

Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Macky Sall, President of Senegal, opened the summit, challenging participants to finalize a declaration of common goals for higher education on the continent.

“The rate of access to higher education in Africa is trailing at 7%, compared to 76% in the West. There is an urgent need to facilitate access and build capacity in African universities,” said President Sall.

According to Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, the question of the day was Africa’s ability to adapt its curricula, research, and teaching methods to a changing continent and world.

“We produce too few PhDs, medical doctors, engineers, scientists, project managers, and mathematicians,” Dlamini-Zuma said. “Our youthful population is confronted with an aging academic and research community which limits opportunities for innovation and expansion.”

Revitalizing higher education in Africa will require firm commitments on the part of governments, significant sustainable investment, broader partnerships, and a long-term vision. The summit created a platform for stakeholders to discuss just that, delving into questions of equity, access, employability, funding, partnerships, and gender.

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