Leading article: African ambition

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The Independent Online

All the signs are indicating that the World Bank is shifting its position on investing in higher education in developing countries (see page 7). It had put the emphasis on primary education, arguing that it is the most important pre-condition for development. But the experts are realising the necessity to invest, too, in higher education, to enable African countries to catch up technologically with the West. Which is why Bill Rammell, the higher education minister, has put money into setting up an Africa unit at the Association of Commonwealth Universities to help British universities establish links with their counterparts in Africa. This is vital if African universities are to improve.