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[DAR ES SALAAM] Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have set up a joint Science and Technology Council for East Africa in an attempt to boost science and technology in the region.

The council is intended to allow the three countries to share and exchange their skills in science and technology. It will also seek funding from foreign donors, and co-ordinate science and technology training in the region to ensure that new developments are distributed evenly between the three countries.

“We hope the newly established Science and Technology Council will speed up the science development process in the region," says Ali Mchumo, deputy secretary general (finance and administration) for the East African Community.

Mchumo points out that the current policy of the three countries is that, where possible, international negotiations should be carried out on behalf of all three of them. "So it should be for science development,” he says.

The East African secretariat has already started to build links between universities in the three countries in an attempt to standardise the quality of education offered in the region. It ultimately aims to re-establish an East African University, which existed up to the time of the collapse of the former East African Community in 1977. The Community, which brings together Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, was re-established in 1999.

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