The Netherlands to partner with Iraq to strengthen education

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Educational institutions from the Netherlands and Iraq will collaborate closely in order to strengthen the agricultural and food infrastructure in Iraq.
Crops in a field in Iraq

To that end, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is earmarking additional funding for the Orange Knowledge Programme. This five-year development programme is managed by Nuffic and contributes to sustainable social and economic development through collaboration in education and training. Launched mid-2017 and it is available in 55 countries.

Strengthening education for a strong labour market

“Minister Sigrid Kaag recently met with her Iraqi colleagues to discuss the country’s goal of sustainable development in Iraq and how the Netherlands can contribute to this aim: through cooperation in the areas of trade and education. For the latter, we identified strengthening academic, but also vocational education as key, to align it more effectively to the emerging labour market. The Orange Knowledge Programme will make a substantial contribution in this educational reinforcement through collaborative projects with Dutch knowledge institutions and by offering training. In these efforts, we are devoting particular attention to young people and women, as they are the workforce of the future”, says David van Kampen, who is leading the team of Partnerships & Programme Development at Nuffic.

Sustainable reinforcement

Instability in the region and the aftermath of armed conflicts have weakened the local infrastructure with regard to agriculture and other aspects of life. The Netherlands has a wealth of agricultural expertise and is eager to apply this knowledge in projects aimed at strengthening the agricultural sector in a sustainable fashion. Such projects will be conducted in cooperation with the Iraqi government, educational institutions and business community and will, for example, include providing training and working together to develop curricula for educational institutions in Iraq. Another important aspect will be addressing the high rate of unemployment among young people by means such as offering entrepreneurship training to students.

Orange Knowledge Programme

The Orange Knowledge Programme is a global, five-year development programme with € 220 million in resources. It is available in 55 countries in South America, Africa and Asia and is managed by Nuffic, the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education. The programme was launched in 2017 and will have supplied tens of thousands of people with opportunities to change their future through education and training by mid-2022.

Additional funding

The extra funding offers the Orange Knowledge Programme opportunities to better match the Dutch government’s development cooperation’s policy: including new countries to the programme and implementing new instruments like regional calls. Next to new country Iraq is Tunisia. Along with these two countries, institutional collaboration with Dutch knowledge and training institutes will be made possible in Jordan as well. A number of regional collaboration projects will be launched in the Horn of Africa and West Africa, and more funding will be made available for cooperation and training in Kenya and Ethiopia. And lastly, education for refugees and their host communities will be strengthened in both the Syrian region and the Horn of Africa. All told, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is providing some € 20 million in additional resources.

The Netherlands and Iraq previously explored opportunities for cooperation.

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