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05.12.2002 General News

Canada and Okanagan University College Support Community Development in Ghana

By CNW
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KELOWNA, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - The Honourable Senator Ross Fitzpatrick (Okanagan- Similkameen), on behalf of the Honourable Susan Whelan, Minister for International Cooperation, today announced a $750,000 contribution over six years to Okanagan University College to support community-development management training in Ghana.

"Education is one of the best ways to promote sustainable development," Senator Fitzpatrick said. "For development efforts to be sustainable, people who work in community development must be well-trained and equipped with the necessary managerial skills."

Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will help Okanagan University College work in cooperation with the University for Development Studies - the only university in West Africa devoted to development research and training. The partners will create a program that will provide effective, appropriate and relevant training to management personnel working for government agencies and non-governmental organizations that are delivering development services to the poor.

This initiative is funded through CIDA's University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development (UPCD) Program. This is a responsive mechanism through which Canadian universities can partner with developing country organizations specializing in education and training. The projects are selected through a competitive process on the basis of merit and peer review. CIDA's contribution is on a cost-sharing basis. The project being announced today will be administered by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

"Canada has learned many development lessons over the past half a century," Minister Whelan said."One of these is to make sure that people in developing countries are leading their own development. Canada is making sure that these people have the necessary skills and tools to do so."

"This project is one that will yield long-term benefits for Ghana, for Africa and for Canada," Okanagan University College (OUC) President Dr. Katy Bindon said. "It's a testament to the vision of the federal government, AUCC, and our partners and the people from OUC who will be participating."

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the December 2001 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

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