The African Development Bank and Mozambique’s Lúrio University recently launched the UniLúrio Support to Skills Development for Agriculture and Industry Programme in Pemba, Mozambique.The Bank has also awarded 68 scholarships of which 39 (57%) were allocated to women.
The Bank is investing UA 11.10 million (US$ 15.5 million), grant in the five-year project.
UniLúrio, established in 2006, is a national public university headquartered in Nampula city, with faculties in Cabo Delgado and Niassa provinces, and offers undergraduate and post-graduate courses in health sciences, architecture and physical planning, natural sciences, business science and agrarian Sciences.
The program, which responds to the Bank’s “Feed Africa” and “Industrialize Africa” priorities, aims to strengthen UniLúrio’s capacity to produce skilled workforce in key sectors of agriculture, applied sciences and engineering.
Under the partnership launched 24 October 2018, the Bank will invest in:
- (i) The construction and equipment of workshops, libraries and laboratories;
- (ii) Improve the quality of curricula and resource management;
- (iii) Support the development of a strategy to improve girls’ access to UniLúrio’s academic services, including a program of tutorials and scholarships for girls;
- (iv) Support strategic planning and management capacity.
The programme is in response to the challenge of youth unemployment in Mozambique, in line with the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa initiative, by helping University of Lurio match its teaching with the needs of the labour market.
One of the components of this project is to support University of Lurio in the implementation of the government’s policy on gender equity in access to higher education, in line with the Bank’s new Mozambique Country Strategy paper (2018 -2022) which has gender equality as one of its key cross cutting themes. Female enrolment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is particularly low across Africa. The programme will provide scholarships / grants for women and support an outreach programme for girls in secondary school to encourage tertiary studies in agriculture engineering and applied sciences.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, the Bank’s Mozambique Country Manager, Pietro Toigo, explained how “extractive resources in Northern Mozambique will accelerate economic growth in the country. However, to ensure that growth is inclusive, young people must have the tools to compete successfully in the labor market. That is why we are proud of our partnership with UniLúrio to create a pole of teaching and research at the highest level in Northern Mozambique.”
For his part, Professor Francisco Noa, Dean of the University of Lúrio, stated that the institution will continue to educate and train a new generation of competent professionals committed to the development of science and well-being of local communities.”