The Presidents of the University of Lomé and Clark Atlanta College signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Lomé, Togo, in a partnership coordinated by the World Bank Group.
Students and faculty will be able to collaborate on research as a result of the partnership, which will also encourage social and economic development that is more sustainable and inclusive.
The World Bank and six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2022.
“Education is the bedrock of development. Africa’s economic transformation hinges on its human capital and the skills of its workforce,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
“Recognizing the great interest by HBCUs in research exchanges and collaboration with strong African education institutions, bringing these institutions together has been a priority. I look forward to the World Bank Group’s continued role as a convening entity to help forge partnerships among educational institutions,” he said.
Two historic institutions consolidated to form Clark Atlanta University. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African-Americans.
Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African-American student population.
Clark Atlanta University is the oldest HBCU in the southern United States and today has more than 4,000 students. The UNCF is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial support to minority students seeking higher education.
“The HBCU community commends the World Bank Group and President Malpass for facilitating this pivotal partnership, keen on making transformational impact,” said Dr. George Tony French, President of Clark Atlanta University and UNCF Chairman of Presidents.
This international collaboration will further amplify the cutting-edge research conducted by Clark Atlanta and Lome universities and marks a turning point in higher education’s creative engagement with the mission to end extreme poverty.
The biggest college in Togo, the College of Lomé – which was established in 1970 – hosts three African Centers of Excellence (ACE), the first large-scale African program funded by the World Bank in the higher education sector.
“Together with our partners, including the World Bank, African universities are modernizing and opening up more to the world for teaching and research in the service of sustainable development,” said Professor Dodzi Komla Kokoroko, President of the University of Lomé.
Through the ACE program, the World Bank has provided more than US$600 million since 2014 to support more than 70 centers in 20 African nations. Between 2018 and 2021, the World Bank’s annual commitment to education in Western and Central Africa tripled, rising from US$400 million to US$1.2 billion.