Bolstering African Universities

  • Overseas
  • 2000

In sub-Saharan Africa, only 4 percent of the college-age population got a chance to enroll at a university when the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa kicked off. Believing that more college training was essential to progress in the poorest continent, the presidents of four U.S. foundations (Rockefeller, Ford, MacArthur, and the Carnegie Corporation) joined together in 2000 in a $100 million commitment to bolster African universities. They were later joined by the Hewlett, Andrew Mellon, and Kresge foundations and the effort was extended from five to ten years. Institutions in nine different African countries were helped to build up their faculties, develop new degree programs, improve facilities, and create long-term financing mechanisms. Over the course of the ten-year effort these donors poured a total of $440 million into African universities, substantially improving their functioning and visibility.