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Arab World Wakes Up To the Call of Science

A declaration was made by the Arab leaders at a summit of the 22-member nations of the Arab League in Khartoum, Sudan. They have agreed to collaborate more closely// on research and increase their funding of science and technology. This has called on the Arab nations to increase their research capacity, enact policies to promote quality in science, and encourage public-private research partnerships.

Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is the president of Sudan, put forth this proposal to boost science in the Arab world. He called for members of the Arab League to put science at the heart of their strategic plans. He said that a US university spends more on research than all Arab countries put together. He suggested that the increasing revenues from oil production should be used to fund science and technology development.

Statistics show that Arab nations put together spend about 0.15 % of their gross domestic product on research and development. When this is compared to that of the global scenario it is well below the global average of 1.4%. The Arab League's secretary general, Amru Musa, insisted on various reforms in the education given to the students in the Arab world.

Salah Aziz, coordinator of engineering programmes at Florida A&M University and Florida State University in the US said that the Arab world needs to set up more partnerships between universities and industry. Hence thereby this would enable them to prepare the students for careers in research and development.


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