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MSIT to Cultivate Science and Technology Talent in Africa, in partnership with the World Bank (May 22)

- Korea's Government-Funded Research Institutes to Promote R&D Education and Training for STEM Postgraduate Students in Africa, Using WB's PASET Regional Scholarships and Innovation Fund

The MSIT announced that it will start an R&D education and training project to nurture talent in science and technology in Africa, in partnership with the World Bank.

To this end, the MSIT attended the 5th Partnership for Skills in Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (PASET) Forum and Governing Council Meeting held in Kigali, Rwanda from May 20 to 21 and discussed detailed plans of the R&D education and training project to cultivate African talent.

Established in 2013, the PASET is a World Bank-led initiative with the objective of cultivating science and technology talent and supporting industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Twenty six African countries including Senegal, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Cote d'Ivoire are members.

Also, PASET runs the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF), aiming to cultivate 10,000 PhD holders in science and technology and nurture startups. Five major members contribute 10 million dollars and the Korean government contribute 10,000 dollars for this fund.

The MSIT will be in charge of the RSIF's talent cultivation program in Korea and will provide a two-year R&D education and training for postgraduate students from Africa at Korea's government-funded research institutes and universities.

* African universities will provide the basic coursework and grant degrees to postgraduate students, while Korea's government-funded research institutes and universities take charge of R&D education and training.

KIST will start the R&D education and training program involving 12 African students from this September. Next year, more institutes, including the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) and Seoul National University (SNU), will also join the program to provide R&D education and training to African students with talents in science and technology.

African universities and KIER, KRICT, KRIBB, and SNU signed MOUs during the 5th PASET Forum.

Director General Song Kyung-hee of the MSIT's International Cooperation Bureau said, "The fact that the MSIT now is in sole charge of the R&D education and program for PASET indicates that the World Bank and African countries highly assess our science and technology capabilities and development experience."

"We will support government-funded research institutes to engage more in the program, thereby cultivating excellent talent expected by the World Bank and African countries, and we will also cooperate with international organizations and multilateral development banks to pursue science and technology diplomacy to secure our national interest and enhance national prestige," added Song.

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