Education links can drive development: Moriarty
Wednesday, 08 October 2008

US envoy James F Moriarty emphasised strong links between government, universities and the private sector to drive development and economic growth in an address to the Asia Regional Higher Education Summit in the capital on Tuesday, reports

"Building and establishing these networks will lead to new and innovative ideas for research, teaching and business development that will support social and economic growth," ambassador Moriarty said at the first such regional conference, organised by USAID at the city's Westin Hotel.
He said new ideas and technologies for developing a sustainable and diverse food system was much needed in the wake of surging worldwide prices of commodities and energy.
"Empirical evidence from academic institutions should be applied to designing appropriate national and regional food policies."
Identifying the under-utilised potential of women as one of the greatest challenges of the region, Moriarty said although the number of women-led businesses in Asia was increasing, much more needs to be done.
"Having more women involved in the work force and economically active will help fuel economic growth. Just as important, the involvement of women in more traditionally male roles will help break down stereotypes and increase gender equity," he added.
Touching on disaster management, the US diplomat stressed restoration of damaged property and infrastructure, caring for survivors and rebuilding livelihoods in a post-disaster situation.
"The nations of this region need to be able to better predict and, where possible, prevent disasters, mitigating their impact on vulnerable populations."
In pursuit of this goal, communities, higher education institutions, and public and private sector actors in the region are developing comprehensive approaches and building partnerships to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks of natural disasters, he added.
The first Asian summit of its kind, and a follow-up to the Higher Education Summit for Global Development in Washington held in April this year, focuses on four global challenges for the region: food security, women entrepreneurship, teacher training and natural disaster management.
Other regional summits will also convene in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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