Nigeria to host Mandela Centre

Abuja- Nigeria (PANA) -- Nigeria's decision-making Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved plans by the country to host an international educational institution - the Nelson Mandela Foundation for Knowledge Building and the Advancement of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Council's approval followed a joint memo from the ministries of Science and Technology, Education and Finance.
Four of the centres are to be sited in Central, Western, Southern and Northern Africa, and each centre is expected to cost about 100 million US dollars to set up.
Information and National Orientation Minister Chukwuemeka Chikelu, told journalists after the FEC weekly meeting in Abuja that funding for the West African centre in Nigeria would come "from international institutions, donor agencies and organisations like the United Nations.
" "It is an African initiative and a major response to the need to drive science and technology on the continent.
"It has been decided that as a way of propelling the development of science and technology infrastructure on the African continent, four centres of excellence should be established," Chikelu said.
The Minister said: "it is an honour for Nigeria to have the opportunity to host such a world-class facility.
And certainly the output from this facility will strengthen our own institutions that are in existence.
" His Science and Technology counterpart Turner Isoun, said: "The basic idea is that the Nelson Mandela Foundation will have two important vehicles as mechanisms of implementation.
" "One mechanism will be the African Institute for Science and technology and the Sub-Saharan African Learning Network modelled after a pilot scheme that has worked in other countries like the Indian Institute of Science and Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"The second vehicle is the Sub-Saharan African Learning Network, which is billed to use information technology," he added.

04 august 2004 21:39:00




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