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January 12, 2007 1:48 pm

Kofi Annan to support business school project

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The Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in Belgium is to be the founding management school in the Kofi Annan Business School Foundation.

The decision by the Secretary General of the United Nations to give his name to the school follows several months of preparation.

The foundation will select the most promising students and young professionals - to be called Kofi Annan fellows- from underdeveloped and isolated areas of the world. While they study for a business degree, students will have their fees waived, but on graduation must return to their native regions.

Universities in the developing world will help the foundation to select the students from local schools, voluntary organisations, NGOs and chambers of commerce.

The Public Advice International Foundation and the Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, both in the Netherlands, will also be involved in the initiative.

A pilot project with a maximum of 40 students at both Vlerick and Hogeschool Utrecht will begin in September for a three-year period. If successful the programme will be extended to other business schools in the EU and possibly the US.

In addition to the entrepreneurial education the students will receive, the fellows will also gain practical experience by carrying out a project in their country of origin. In this way the foundation aims to stimulate local entrepreneurship.

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