Regional approaches to tackling development challenges

Regional approaches to tackling development challenges

How ACE Impact Project is transforming Education and Research in Africa

The ACE Impact for Development Project is in its third year of implementation and has recorded notable successes in delivering high-quality training, competitive applied research, impactful industry/sector partnerships, mutually beneficial regional and international academic partnerships, and enhanced institutional governance and management of the participating universities.

 

As of November 2020, there were 10,817 masters and doctoral students enrolled across the 53 Centers, 24% of these being regional students. The number of female students across the centers reached 3,333, aligning with the project’s gender inclusion goal of at least 30% female students being trained at any point in time.

The results achieved by the centers are in harmony with the objective of improving the quality, quantity, and development impact of postgraduate education in participating universities through regional specialization and collaboration across West and Central Africa.

Eighty-two programmes being offered by the Centers are in the process of being internationally accredited, creating opportunities for increases in enrolment, as well as boosting the employability of graduates from the centers. Accreditation of programmes verifies if an institution meets or exceeds the minimum quality standards, making the courses and centers internationally competitive.

 

ACE Impact regional Approach

The ACE impact regional approach utilizes collaboration in training to meet the national level needs. For example, the centers hosted by the universities enrol students wishing to be trained in specific thematic areas from across the continent. In addition, the centers leverage the resident capacities in the region and beyond to support the training and supervision of the post-graduate students. Further to this, students are provided with internships and given the opportunity to complete them either in their home countries or regionally. This regional approach facilitates cross-fertilization of ideas and understanding of research problems from national, regional, and global perspectives.

Centers COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic presented opportunities for centers to cooperate, sharing knowledge and best practices nationally, regionally, and internationally with various partners through their contributions and experiences towards controlling the spread of this pandemic. Professor Christian Happi is a leading researcher at the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemer’s University, Nigeria. The center is in partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and other research and public health partners, to implement a Sentinel project for an early warning system in Africa. The project combines genomics with advanced information technologies to transform infectious disease surveillance in real-time. An early warning that could save millions of lives.

 

Creating a Safe Learning Environment for Students

Along with attracting both national and regional students, meeting the required infrastructure standards, and ensuring the centers remain internationally competitive, creating safe learning spaces and environments is a top priority for ACE Impact. The project prioritizes the safety of all stakeholders involved, especially students, through the incorporation of sexual harassment policies and the development of grievance mechanisms systems. Each center of excellence, as part of the disbursements linked indicators, produced a comprehensive sexual harassment policy, as well as appointed a focal person/office responsible for monitoring and implementing the policy. The ACEs also engage students regularly on these policies and clarify to them how they can report any form of sexual harassment.

Additionally, the project appointed an expert in year 2020 to review all the anti-sexual harassment policies and provide feedback which the ACEs used to improve their policies where necessary. Webinars were also held by the Association of African Universities and the World Bank teams from January-March 2020 to raise awareness among the students and build capacities of all those involved.

Moving Forward

As the world adapts to our new digital and virtual reality, the regional approach has been applied to build the capacity of faculty with online teaching methods and technology. Capacity building workshops are being run virtually bringing in experts from Switzerland, Morocco and Senegal to facilitate the sessions. The ACE Impact faculty from the 11 countries converge virtually to participate.

 

Development challenges tackled by the ACEs

To contribute to job creation and poverty eradication, the centers conduct training programs for the surrounding communities as part of their outreach and community development. For example, the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) in Nigeria runs value chain training programs for youth and women from adjacent states. The practical and intensive training focuses on rice, fisheries, and poultry value chains for employment.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred the Centers to respond to the health challenge posed by the pandemic. The Centers joined forces with their governments to contribute towards the control of the coronavirus. The ACEGID (African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases) and WACBIP (West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens) have been exemplary in conducting the genome sequencing of SARS COV-2 in Nigeria and Ghana. In this important work WACCI and ACEGID worked collaboratively with their governments, national research centers, and other national universities to produce impactful results. The genome sequencing is critical for diagnostics and vaccine development. The data emanating from genome sequencing is important for policy actions and national as well as regional responses.

 

Other Centers designed hand-washing devices, manufactured face masks and sanitizers, designed screening tools, led COVID19-related community awareness trainings, developed disease surveillance systems, and finally opened up their campuses to be the venues for COVID19 testing.

 

Partnerships/ Community engagement

The Centers are developing strategic and significant partnerships as part of their regional approach to training, research, and capacity development. The Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) hosted by the University of Cape Coast is working closely with local and international partners in the areas of research and capacity building towards an accelerated development of the coasts of West Africa and beyond. ACECoR is partnering with Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) at the University of Bremen, Germany to strengthen the scientific and technological community of practice with European partners from relevant marine disciplines for the co-design and co-production of knowledge that will engage with policymakers, businesses, industry, and other stakeholders within the coastal and marine sectors.

Call for Application to Study PhD in Cyber Security at ACETEL

Call for Application to Study PhD in Cyber Security at the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), National Open University of Nigeria.

The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), National Open University of Nigeria, is pleased to invite qualified and interested
candidates to apply for scholarship to study PhD in Cyber Security by submitting a Research Proposal for the thesis entitled: ‘A Secure Data-Centric Architecture for Digital Learning’

Context:
The emergence of the Corona Virus (COVID 19) pandemic prompted several Universities across the world and particularly in West Africa, to switch to the digital
learning space as their mode of service delivery. Typically, a huge volume of sensitive data is generated in the course of the online interaction between lecturers and students in the digital learning space. At the core of this mode of learning, are the issues of secure data management and effective mechanisms for authentication and authorisation of endusers. This increased participation of schools in the digital learning space has given rise to the high exposure of the massive volume of sensitive data to various forms of cyberattacks. Although researchers have designed architectures for securing data in the digital learning space, yet, existing architectures have been ineffective for protecting data in this setting. Consequently, this research seeks to design and implement an effective
data-centric architecture for a digital learning system.

Supervisor: Dr Vivian Nwaocha, Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning, National Open University of Nigeria

Co-supervisor: Dr Jules Degila, African Centre of Excellence in Mathematical Sciences and Applications, University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin

Other contributors on the PhD supervision: Dr Adebukola Onashoga, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

Eligibility of candidates: All the requirements for admission into PhD in Cyber Security at ACETEL

Additionally, candidates must submit an explicit Research Proposal of not more than 6,000 words highlighting the following: background, problem statement based on current related works, objectives, expected results, proposed methodology, planned activities for the duration of the PhD and references.

Duration of Scholarship: 3 years
Grant: Doctoral Programme of the ACE-Partner DSTN project, 540 euros. The DSTN Project will also sponsor internship for Masters students

The deadline for the application of the DSTN Scholarship is 31st December, 2020.

NOTE:

  • All Ph.D. candidates must upload the concept note of their research interest in not more than 5500 words.
  • ACETEL will offer scholarship to suitably qualified candidates. Please visit ACETEL website at www.acetel.nou.edu.ng for the Scholarship Application Form and further details.
  • Enquiries on ACETEL Programmes, Scholarship as well as the DSTN Scholarship should be forwarded to ACETEL email: acetel@noun.edu.ng or call 08123030665
  • For national students, application form cost N20, 000.00 and N30, 000.00 for MSc and Ph.D. programmes respectively.
  • For international students, application form cost $155 and $233 for MSc and Ph.D. programmes respectively

Call for Application to Masters Degrees’ at ACETEL

Introduction

The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) is a World Bank, Association of African Universities, and Nigeria’s National Universities Commission supported regional centre of excellence focusing on the development of human capacity and research in digital solutions that will lead to the utilisation of technology for education. The Centre aims to bridge the technology knowledge gap and achieve high levels of digital development for the African continent.

The ACETEL is domiciled at the headquarters of the National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi, Abuja. The Centre team comprises of national and international scholars drawn from relevant fields of science as well as public and private sector stakeholders. The Centre, is commencing postgraduate programmes for the 2020/2021 Academic Session in the following fields:

  • MSc and Ph.D Artificial Intelligence
  • MSc and Ph.D Cyber Security
  • MSc and Ph.D Management Information System

The ACETEL is therefore, requesting interested and suitably qualified candidates to apply for admission into any of the above indicated postgraduate programmes. Application forms are available at www.acetel.nou.edu.ng.

Interested candidates should follow the online application procedure laid down below:

  • Visit the ACETEL Website https://acetel.nou.edu.ng/
  • Click on Apply Now
  • Click on Application Portal Registration to create your account.
  • On successful creation of your account, you will receive an email with directions to create a password and instructions to visit Remita to generate an RRR invoice which should be used to effect payment for the application form.
  • After payment and obtaining the payment receipt Click on ONLINE APPLICATION FORM.
  • Fill in the details, upload relevant documents and submit
  • Acknowledgement and Admission letters will be sent via your indicated email address after your application has been processed

Admission Requirements for the Programmes are Outline Below

1. MSc. Artificial Intelligence Entry Requirements
To be admitted into the MSc. Artificial Intelligence (AI) programme, a Candidate is expected to fulfil the following requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of Second Class Upper in a computer related degree or Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or other degrees with
    substantial mathematics content.
    OR
  • A minimum of 3.0 at the PGD level in a computer related degree E.g. Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Technology.
    Note: For candidates from Physics, Mathematics, Statistics and Engineering (except Computer and Electrical/ Electronics Engineering), a PGD can serve as a bridge Course to qualify for admission into MSc AI.
  • Candidates are expected to have taken the following background (or their equivalents) courses:
    i) Algorithms, Programming, Algorithm design and analysis.
    ii) Basic probability, statistics and algebra, Linear algebra and Discrete Mathematics.
  • In addition, candidates must possess a minimum of five credits in SSCE/GCE/NECO/NABTEB or its equivalent, at not more than two (2) sittings, in the following subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Further Mathematics.

2. MSc. Cyber Security Entry Requirements
To be admitted into the MSc. Cyber Security programme, a candidate is expected to fulfil the following minimum requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from a recognised institution with a Second Class Lower in Cyber Security, Information Technology, Communication Technology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical/ Electronics, Mathematics, Physics, Physics Electronics, Physics with Mathematics
    OR
  • A minimum of 3.0 from a recognised institution at the PGD level in Cyber Security, Information Technology, Computer Science, Communication
    Technology, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical/ Electronics, Mathematics, Physics, Physics Electronics, Physics with Mathematics
  • In addition, the candidate must possess a minimum of five credits in SSCE/GCE/NECO/NABTEB or its equivalent, at not more than two (2) sittings,
    in the following subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and any of the following Biology, Agricultural Science, Computer Studies or
    Further Mathematics.

3. MSc. Management Information Systems Entry Requirements
To be admitted into the MSc. Management Information System, a candidate is expected to fulfil the following minimum requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from a recognised institution with a minimum of Second Class Lower in Cyber Security, Information Technology, Communication
    Technology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical/ Electronics, Mathematics, Physics, Physics Electronics, Physics with Mathematics
    OR
  • A minimum of 3.0 from a recognised institution at the PGD level in Cyber Security, Information Technology, Computer Science, Communication Technology, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical/ Electronics, Mathematics, Physics, Physics Electronics, Physics with Mathematics
  • In addition, the candidate must possess a minimum of five credits in SSCE/GCE/NECO/NABTEB or its equivalent, at not more than two (2) sittings,
    in the following subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and any of the following Biology, Agricultural Science, Computer Studies or
    Further Mathematics.

4. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.) Artificial Intelligence Entry Requirement
Candidates for Ph.D. admission must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Candidates must have five credit passes including English, Mathematics and two other relevant science subjects at ‘O’ Level.
  • Candidates with Bachelor’s degree from an approved university must obtain a minimum of second class Lower division with a CGPA of 2.5/5.0.
  • Candidates must have Academic Master’s degree in relevant areas with a CGPA of 4.0/5.0 and thesis score not lower than 60% (B). A Master’s degree in
    Machine Learning or a closely related field will be an advantage.
  • All applicants are expected to be competent in programming and have a strong mathematical background.
  • Holders of equivalent qualification/experience specified for the course recognized by the Senate may be considered for admission

5. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.) Cyber Security Entry Requirement
Candidates seeking for admission into the Ph. D. degree programme in Cyber Security must satisfy the following general and specific requirements.

  • Candidates must have attained a minimum of five (5) credits passes including English, Mathematics and two other relevant science subjects at
    ‘O’ Level at not more than two sittings.
  • Candidates with Bachelor’s degree from an approved university must attain a minimum of Second-Class Lower division with a CGPA of 2.5/5.0.
  • Candidates must have attained a Master’s degree (i.e. M.Sc., M.Tech., M. Phil,) in Cyber Security Science, Computer Science or Information Technology from National Open University of Nigeria or from any other University recognized by the Senate of National Open University of Nigeria with a CGPA of 4.0/5.0
  • They are expected to have attained a grade not lower than a ‘B’ grade (60%) in their thesis

6. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.) Management Information Systems Entry Requirement
Candidates seeking for admission into the Ph. D. degree programme must satisfy the following general and specific requirements.

  • Satisfy the minimum five (5) credits requirement for admission into the postgraduate programme including English and Mathematics.
  • Candidates with Bachelor’s degree from an approved university must attain a minimum of Second-Class Lower division with a CGPA of 2.5/5.0
  • Holders of a Master degree (M.Sc., M.Tech., M.Phil, or equivalent) in Cyber Security Science/Computer Science from National Open University of Nigeria
    or from any other University recognized by the Senate of National Open University of Nigeria with a minimum CGPA of 4.0 on a scale of 5.00 or weighted average of 60% or an average of performance of “B” grade.
  • Holders of equivalent qualification/experience specified for the course recognized by the Senate may be considered for admission.

The deadline for application and ACETEL Scholarship is 30th December, 2020.

NOTE:

  • ACETEL will offer scholarship to suitably qualified candidates. Please visit ACETEL website at www.acetel.nou.edu.ng for the Scholarship Application Form and further details.
  • Enquiries on ACETEL Programmes, Scholarship as well as the DSTN Scholarship should be forwarded to ACETEL email: acetel@noun.edu.ng or call 08123030665
  • For national students, application form cost N20, 000.00 and N30, 000.00 for MSc and Ph.D. programmes respectively.
  • For international students, application form cost $155 and $233 for MSc and Ph.D. programmes respectively

Call for Applications – RWESK Centre Fellows

Background

The Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre Kumasi (RWESCK) is a Regional Centre of Excellence at the Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. The Centre specializes in the delivery of high-quality post-graduate programmes at the PhD and MSc level as well as professional development courses in Water and Sanitation. As part of its mandate, the Centre engages in high quality research in water and environmental sanitation relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Africa Union Agenda 2063. RWESCK has strong local academic and industrial partners as well as solid international relations with top Universities across the globe.

RWESCK intends to harness the expertise of local and international faculty members and entrepreneurs to collaborate with the Centre to deliver high quality academic, research and entrepreneurial activities for mutual benefits.

The Centre therefore has the pleasure to invite eligible applicants, both local and international as Fellows of the Centre.

Eligibility

Eligible candidates should have the following minimum qualification;

  1. A PhD in a discipline related to the research themes of the Centre;
  • Theme 1: Innovative Water Treatment Technology
  • Theme 2: Innovative Water Distribution and Smart Technology
  • Theme 3: Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management Technology
  • Theme 4: Climate Resilience and Water Resources Management
  • Theme 5: Water and Sanitation Governance
  1. Relevant professional experience related to the above themes
  2. Must have supervised both undergraduate and graduate students
  3. Must have publications in high impact journals
  4. Must demonstrate evidence of grantsmanship
  5. Must demonstrate strong linkages with local and/or international partners
  6. Applicants with a minimum of Masters degree but have a minimum of 10 years post qualification experience in entrepreneurship or business development will be considered. Such applicants must show evidence of business incubation, innovations and technology development in areas related to the above themes.

Core duties

Eligible candidates would be required to collaborate with the Centre in one or more of the following areas;

  • Joint supervision of postgraduate students
  • Joint publications
  • Delivery of PhD and MSc course
  • Design and delivery of short courses
  • Delivery of technical workshops and webinars
  • Grant writing
  • Intellectual Property/Patent
  • Mentoring of Early Career Faculty
  • Mentoring of PhD and MSc students
  • Community engagement

Interested applicants should submit their application via the link (Here!) by Monday, November 30, 2020.

Contact: smkandawire@aau.org | Association of African Universities | P. O. Box AN 5744,
Accra-North, Ghana | Tel +233-547-728975 All Rights Reserved © 2022