US signs deal with Kenya to Support STEM Education

The United States have signed a historic Framework for Cooperation with the Government of Kenya to support new partnerships between universities and industry to drive innovation, research, and job growth in STEM-related fields in Kenya and globally.

USAID Counselor Clinton White signed the Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education for Economic Development Framework for Cooperation alongside Kenyan Prime Cabinet Secretary Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi as part of Kenyan President William Ruto’s State Visit to the United States.

The signing took place at Spelman College in Atlanta, where representatives of the U.S. and Kenyan governments were gathered to discuss investments in higher education, partnerships in STEM education at the post-high school level, and how science technology, engineering, and math education can contribute to Kenya’s economic growth. 

At the signing, USAID also announced nearly $32 million investment in Kenya’s education system. This investment includes $850,000 in support of the Edtech Africa initiative, a public-private partnership program recommended by the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement (PAC-ADE) to promote STEM partnerships between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the Open University of Kenya, Mastercard and Microsoft, and a $6.5 million new project in Kenya which aims to connect STEM graduates with jobs in fast-growing sectors like information and communication technology and manufacturing of textiles and pharmaceuticals. It also includes a new $24.5 million program on early grade literacy, to ensure that more Kenyans are prepared with the foundational skills they need to succeed in higher education.

As the United States and Kenya celebrate 60 years of bilateral relations, and recalling the positive and enduring impact of  Kennedy-era assistance to help East Africans study in the U.S., known as the student airlift, the U.S. Department of State announced at Spelman the Kennedy-Mboya Partnerships to support a new, 21st century scholarship program focused on STEM as the field of the future. With funding of $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of State, this program should support the development and success of the next generation of Kenyan scientists, researchers, and engineers. 

USAID expects the Framework for Cooperation signed today to establish linkages, partnerships, exchange programs, and other relationships for sharing and developing the STEM, advanced manufacturing, and ICT capacities of Kenyan higher education institutions. It includes a commitment from Microsoft and the Mastercard Foundation to support STEM education through higher education partnerships, and a commitment from U.S. universities to partner with Kenyan institutions to build mutual capacity in STEM-related courses of study.

The United States has a longstanding partnership with Kenya, actively supporting the country as a pioneering force and regional engine for innovation. This new partnership in the area of STEM education will prepare a generation of innovative Kenyan leaders to meet evolving market demands and advance the nation’s economic development.

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