Dr Alvaro Sobrinho has taken a leading role in launching a new scholarship fund aimed at furthering the advancement of scientific education in Africa. In partnership with other leading business figures from the continent, a coalition of African governments and with the support of the World Bank, the scholarship will provide funding for some 10,000 PhDs.
The partners have each pledged a substantial sum of money amounting to $5 million in total. This money will be used to pay for research done in the fields of science and engineering over the next 10 years.
Dr Sobrinho, a long-term advocate for the scientific advancement of Africa played a critical role in establishing the scholarship. Working through the newly formed African Business Champions of Science group, Dr Sobrinho was able to bring all the parties together in order to make the fund a reality.
In reference to the fund, Dr Sobrinho spoke of the need to invest in future generations if Africa is to continue to develop. He argued that, “excellence in science and technology will equip Africa with a workforce ready to compete in the 21st century.” Currently, as pointed out by Alvaro Sobrinho, when it comes to science Africa is behind in virtually every way. Africa produces the least scientific research and the least scientists.
The scholarship fund is intended to turn Africa’s scientific future around. The necessity for such as initiative has been clearly acknowledged by the World Bank, which has fully support Dr Sobrinho and his partners. The fund will become part of a broader World Bank project named Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), which runs many programmes aimed at the scientific advancement of Africa.
Alongside the World Bank, Dr Sobrinho gained the support and partnership of Rwanda, Senegal and Ethiopia. Each country has contributed financially to the fund and expressed full support for the goals and objectives laid out by Dr Sobrinho and the World Bank.
The scholarship fund will begin operations in June of this year.