The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa has announced that its seven member foundations will continue their collaborative and individual grantmaking to strengthen higher education in Africa beyond their original ten-year commitment.
By 2010, PHEA members — Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Ford, MacArthur, Rockefeller, Hewlett, Mellon, and Kresge foundations — will have awarded $350 million in grants to select universities and other African institutions in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
To date, joint investments by the partnership's member foundations have included the purchase of a significant increase in satellite bandwidth by a consortium of sub-Saharan universities. According to PHEA, the consortium not only provided the universities with more bandwidth at cheaper prices, it also influenced broader market pricing, encouraged increased hardware acquisitions by participating universities, and contributed to an increase in the use of Internet communications technologies in teaching, learning, and research.
During the next phase of the initiative, collaborative funding will be coordinated by an executive committee comprised of foundation program staff, with additional cooperative activities consisting of bilateral and multilateral funding in tandem with other coalitions and alliances. The foundations also will continue to work in partnership with African universities to enrich the latter's ability to provide high-quality educational opportunities to men and women who are integral to the progress and development of sub-Saharan African countries.
"By strengthening a core group of universities through collective and individual investments, the foundation partners have helped to nurture a rising generation of women and men who will contribute to the further development of democracy and civil society on the African continent," said Carnegie Corporation president Vartan Gregorian. "To enable universities to continue to address Africa's many complex challenges, however, demands that we affirm our long-term commitment to build upon this progress."