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Agricultural science in Mozambique got a substantial boost last week as a US$8.3 million loan was approved by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The money will be used to build two agricultural science and technology institutes that together will be capable of taking 500 students, and to fit them out with furniture, educational tools and equipment.

The agreement was signed in Maputo, Mozambique on Wednesday (11 October) by Mozambique's Finance Minister, Manuel Chang, and the fund's deputy director general Hisham Al-Wuqaiyan.

Chang told journalists that "the roll-out of the project is expected soon, given that the government has highlighted education as a top priority", reports the African Press Agency.

The loan will also be used to train faculty and staff for the institutes.

The project goes partway towards fulfilling Mozambique's Strategic Plan for Higher Education, which aims to build three world-class technical colleges in the Gaza, Manica and Tete provinces.

Addressing the UN General Assembly yesterday (12 October), Kuwaiti diplomat Jasem Al-Najem emphasised Kuwait's role in supporting economic and technical support in Africa, and urged other public and private donors to follow suit, according to the Kuwait news agency.

"It is time for the international community to take more decisive steps to encourage the African continent and support its efforts through an increase in the extent of technical, political and financial support," he said.