Australia offers scholarship to 45 Africans

GraduationAustralia has awarded scholarship to 45 Africans to pursuit various programmes in the 2014 academic year.

The recipients of the scholarship are from Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone and would study programmes in agriculture, mining, governance, natural resource management and public policy as well as water and sanitation and health.

Mr Joanna Adamson, Australia High Commissioner, said the Australia Awards Scholarship Programme is delivered in cooperation with partner governments.

The scholarships are awarded in fields nominated as priorities by beneficiary countries.

At a ceremony organised for the recipients, Mr. Adamson said, the selection process was highly competitive as the Commission received 5,000 applications from 28 African countries out of which 274 candidates were successful for the next year’s intake.

For PhDs, the Commission received 200 applications and only, 10 of were qualified.

Mr Adamson said Australia and its development partners have recognised that education has a central function in development.

“Education improves the prospects for economic growth, social cohesion, democratic reforms and good governance, all of which contribute to the elimination of poverty.

“Strengthening education also enhances stability and security, and foster effective states,” Mr Joanna said.

He explained that scholarships are a key part of the Australia government’s development partnerships with African countries, which it has been rolled out for more than 50 years.

Mr Adamson said Australia supports women’s economic participation and empowerment through equal access, education and health services.

He said from the 2014 cohort of Australia Award Scholarship recipients, 53 per cent were women.

Australia, he said also targets people with disabilities and 12 have benefited from the programme.

Mr Paul Yaw Essel, immediate past Ghana High Commissioner to Australia urged the recipients to come back home to serve their countries after completion of their courses.

“It is glorifying to come home and help your countries to grow,” he said.

Mr Essel also advised the awardees to observe the work ethics of Australians and come home to translate them in their countries to enhance growth and progress.

Source: GNA

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