The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 approved a ADF grant of UA 12.9 million* (equivalent to USD 20 million) to support a higher education development project in Eritrea. The project is aimed at scaling up human resources development in order to further enhance economic growth programmes and reduce poverty in the country. The project will specifically contribute to building capacity for teaching, research and service in the country’s higher education institutions.
The project is estimated at UA 15.66 million. The Eritrean government will contribute UA 2.76 million. The activities to be supported by the ADF grant are so vital to the country that they are being closely coordinated in line with those provided by other development partners.
Commenting on the Board’s approval, the Chief Education Specialist, Abdi Younis, explained that Eritrea’s higher education sub-sector had been facing several challenges, which the ADF project would address. These include, in particular, the shortage of qualified national staff and inadequate infrastructure. “The Project will contribute to the building of capacity for teaching, research and service at the country’s higher education institutions, through assistance in staff development for teaching and research at the seven higher education institutions in the country,” Mr Younis said..
“The provision of technical assistance for these institutions in the areas where competencies are not currently available in the country as well as the necessary infrastructure development for teaching and research at two of the institutions are also imperative for the sustainable development of Eritrea,” he added.