Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has unveiled plans to provide 500 university scholarships for students from other African nations over the next ten years.
Foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit made the announcement on Mubarak's behalf at last week's African Union (AU) summit in Sudan.
"The development of African societies should be based on an advanced and strong infrastructure of education, culture and scientific research systems in order to bridge the digital and scientific gaps [that are] steadily increasing between developing and developed countries," said the statement.
Quoting science minister Hany Mahfouz Helal, the Al-ahram newspaper said on 23 January that Egypt would give 50 scholarships a year from 2006-2015 to cover undergraduate tuition fees, travel expenses, and living allowances.
Also at the AU summit, Egypt proposed setting up a centre to provide training and practical expertise to Africans working in the fields of disaster preparedness and response.
Mubarak said Egypt was building on proposals it made at last year's summit held in Abuja, Nigeria (see African scientific research council proposed and Africa to create centre to fight infectious disease).