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African scientific and engineering research is to receive a $2.4 million boost over the next two and a half years in the form of a grant from New York's Carnegie Corporation. The grant is meant to improve teaching in African universities and increase the number of doctorates in science. South Africa and Africa as a whole lag behind the developed world in terms of number of people graduating with doctorates, but South Africa is ahead of China and India on this ratio, the vice president of the National Research Foundation's Research and innovation Support Agency, Dr.

Science and education development can only flourish in Africa through support for home grown institutions. The Regional Initiative in Science and Education, RISE, has been striving to achieve this for the past 18 months through university-based networks that train science and engineering academics for African universities.

Dr. Vo Van Toi spoke with a reporter from Vietnam's "Sunday Youth" newspaper about the potential to start an MSI in Vietnam. During a series of visits by international scientists to Vietnam, there have been talks about promoting modern technologies for Vietnam's development. An international conference on biotechnology at the Ho Chi Minh City National University will take place from July 27-29.

With 2010 and the five-year countdown to the MDGs about to get underway, policymakers are keenly aware that few countries can hope to achieve their development goals without the scientific, engineering, and technical/vocational capacity to handle pressing development issues such as food security, cleaner energy, adaptation to climate change, improving health systems, providing water and sanitation services, generating wealth and jobs, and reducing absolute poverty.

SIG, the Vietnam Education Foundation and the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology have signed a statement of cooperation to formulate a plan for Centers of Excellence in science and technology in Vietnam. According to the plan, VEF and SIG would provide technical and strategic support to MOST as it investigates and builds an appropriate model to create Centers of Excellence in Vietnam. Press release here.

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