U.S. Government $250,000 Grant Supports New Partnership between the University of Georgia and the International University of Grand Bassam
On November 16, 2020, the U.S. University of Georgia (UGA) and the International University of Grand-Bassam (IUGB) launched a partnership to build higher-education capacity in Côte d’Ivoire. The project, funded through a $250,0000 University Partnerships Initiative (UPI) grant from the U.S. Department of State through U.S. Embassy Abidjan, will provide training and assistance in strategic planning and curricular design to the International University of Grand Bassam (IUGB), a top English-language university in Côte d’Ivoire.
Over the next 18 months, UGA and IUGB faculty will participate in several exchanges between their campuses in Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire and Athens, Georgia, United States. Through the partnership, UGA — the oldest and one of the most prestigious U.S. public universities — will share American best practices in university management with IUGB. The project supports IUGB’s goal of U.S. accreditation.
“U.S. universities are world renowned for their methodology in providing students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to build healthy professional and personal lives,” said U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell. “The new UGA-IUGB partnership, initiated by the Andrew J. Young Foundation and supported by the U.S. government, has great potential to improve Ivoirian students’ learning experience and better equip them for the workforce of the future. Both sides will learn from each other.”
According to the IUGB President, Professor Saliou Touré, Africa faces multiple challenges, especially in managing changing demographics, bettering education systems, and improving health conditions and food security. “To meet these challenges, Africa must take vigorous steps to train leaders in science, technology, and innovation; and it must prepare its youth to rise to the highest level in these fields.”
“It is important that governments invest in the education and training of youth, who will soon constitute half of the African population,” said Ambassador Andrew J. Young.
The U.S. State Department’s UPI, launched in 2019, is designed to strengthen collaboration between U.S. and African universities while harnessing the enormous opportunity posed by Africa’s projected doubling in population by 2050. It is intended to increase the capability of universities in Africa to offer high-quality, workforce-responsive education while building long-term academic relationships with key institutions in the United States. Private-sector involvement will be crucial to relevance and sustainability. To date, UPI has supported ten projects in seven countries. IUGB is one of the first universities in a francophone country to participate.