Mr Mendenhall thanked the Director-General for the opportunity to deliver a key statement at the Plenary session of UNESCO’s World Conference on Higher Education and reiterated Hewlett Packard’s commitment to continue the fruitful cooperation it has enjoyed with UNESCO since 2003. He recalled the partnership agreement signed by both Organizations in 2007 and emphasized that “together with UNESCO, we can make a bigger difference in the world, moving from theory into tangible results.”
The Director-General welcomed Hewlett Packard’s enthusiasm for what he called an exemplary partnership that both Organisations were committed to continue developing. Mr Matsuura recalled with satisfaction the success of the UNESCO/Hewlett-Packard partnership in South East Europe, following which, in 2006, UNESCO and Hewlett-Packard launched a joint pilot project to help reduce brain drain in Africa by providing grid computing technology to universities in Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe.
The discussions then turned to the new phase of the joint Initiative, the UNESCO/Hewlett-Packard Brain Gain Initiative: A digital infrastructure linking African and Arab Region universities to global knowledge, which, based on the Africa pilot project and the positive results obtained in Eastern Europe, was further scaled up to three additional countries in Africa and to the Arab Region in 2008, and will be further expanded in 2009 and 2010. This initiative’s main objective is to further consolidate the lessons learned and ensure more sustainability for the project. It also aims at countering some of the conditions that force students and professionals to leave their country through reinforcing the capacities of universities and research centres, thus encouraging greater exchanges between immigration and reception countries and promoting two-way mobility. The project aims to establish links between researchers who have stayed in their countries and those that have left, connecting scientists to international colleagues, research networks and potential funding organizations. Faculties and students at beneficiary universities will also be able to work on major collaborative research projects with other institutions around the world.
After exchanging views on how best to achieve a more global dimension to their partnership, Mr Matsuura and Mr Mendenhall agreed to renew the partnership agreement as a foundation for a future of close cooperation.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 134-2009 - Publication Date: 08-07-2009