Since 1961, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA) of Abidjan has trained more than 4000 graduates from 27 African countries and Haiti. For the celebration of its sixtieth anniversary, several scientific and festive activities are organized since May 2021.

To this end, ENSEA of Abidjan, African Centre of Excellence in Statistical Training and the Econometric Society (ES) organised the 2021 edition of the Africa Summer School in Econometrics (ASSE 2021) for the first time in Africa and the 6th edition of the Africa Meeting of the Econometric Society (AFES 2021) which took place from 26 May to 2 June and from 2 June to 5 June 2021, respectively.

A total of 60 people consisting of doctoral students and young researchers from various institutions from several African and non-African countries took part both online and face to face in the 2021 edition of the African Summer School, “a great first in Africa”, according to the director of ENSEA, Hugues Kouadio. 14 training sessions and a Marschak conference on the theme: “On the econometrics of subjective probability distributions: modelling beliefs about future income” were held at ASSE 2021.

This Summer School aims to promote the culture of economic analysis based on state-of-the-art quantitative methods based on statistical and econometric theories.

Led by eminent professors including economist Manuel Arellano from the University of Madrid in Spain, the course focused on five specific areas, including “Causal inference and policy evaluation with experimental and non-experimental data”, “New trends in panel data analysis methods”, “Bootstrap methods”, “Financial economics”.

“I invite you to build a community of practice from this training and to share the knowledge you will have acquired in your respective research centres and communities,” said the director of ENSEA.

As for the Africa Meeting of the Econometric Society, more than 320 participants from all over the world took part in 158 parallel sessions for the presentation of scientific papers. The meeting culminated in a panel discussion on “Improving Pre-Secondary Education in Africa: Key Challenges and Solutions for Human Capital Development”. This panel, rich both in terms of the quality of the panellists and the theme addressed, saw the participation of the Minister of Technical Education, Vocational Training and Apprenticeship and the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Ministry of National Education and Literacy, representing Mrs. Mariatou KONE, alongside Mr. Gilles Fagninou, Secretary of the Executive Board of UNICEF, and academics such as Prof. Mbiti Isaac, from Virginia University (USA) and Prof. Yaw Nyarko from New York University, for moderation.

This 2021 edition in Côte d’Ivoire was an opportunity to bring together leading economists to discuss issues related to development, education and human capital that correspond to political debates in many African countries, including our own.

It must be said that AFES 2021, which witnessed the participation of renowned researchers such as the 2000 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, the second most influential economist in the world, le Professeur James Heckman,  Manuel Arellano (CEMFI, Madrid), Lisa Cook (Michigan State University), Pascaline Dupas (Stanford University), Kirabo Jackson (Northwestern University), Yaw Nyarko (New York University). Pinelopi Goldberg (Yale University), current President of the Econometric Society, kept all its promises and was well attended by researchers and academics, but also by the quality of the keynote addresses in the field of econometrics. It is part of the scientific activities initiated by the Director of ENSEA, Dr. Hugues KOUADIO, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the institution.

A certificate was awarded to each participant either for participation or for presenting a scientific paper in the 41 parallel sessions. The best paper award was won by Ramaele Moshoeshoe from the University of Lesotho with his paper: Long Term Effects of Free Primary Education on Educational Achievement: Evidence from Lesotho. He won a research stay in the research laboratory of the ‘‘Annals of economics and statistics’’ journal.

Centres of Excellence Gain Recognition for their Contributions/ Centres’ Faculty and Students Awarded for their Contributions

Centres of Excellence Gain Recognition for their Contributions/ Centres’ Faculty and Students Awarded for their Contributions


The ACE Impact project is proud to announce the awarding of numerous milestones for our centres of excellence across the region. ACE Impact seeks to empower universities in Africa to deliver quality education and applied research by providing the needed infrastructure for an enabling environment, laboratories and equipment, training of faculty, among others. In view of this, the ACE Impact Centres are making productive strides in their contributions in addressing developmental challenges within the region. Relentless efforts made by both centre faculties and students in delivering impactful research and remarkable services in their respective fields are being duly acknowledged by the relevant stakeholders through awards.  

Notable among these awards include: The 2020 Bailey K. Ashford Medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene received by Prof. Christian Happi, Director for the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in Nigeria. The award is in recognition of his contribution in research on infectious diseases. Prof. Happi has also been appointed Chair of the Research and Ethics Committee of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria. 


Prof. Gordon Awandare of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) received two awards from the University of Ghana during the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS) Meritorious Awards ceremony. One in recognition of his outstanding service to the College and University and another for his leadership in COVID-19 research to support national response.




Similarly, Prof. Eric Y. Danquah of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) was a recipient of the CBAS Meritorious Awards ceremony for his exceptional service to the College. He is also the 2018 Laureate of the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agriculture and Life Sciences (GCHERA) World Agriculture Prize. 





In addition, Prof. Jacob K. Tona of the Centre of Excellence in Poultry Science (CERSA) in Togo has been awarded by the World Poultry Science Association (WPSA) as winner of the WPSA Education Award. In acheiveing a new milestone, he is the first African recipient to win the award.  







Professor Diabate Abdoulaye, the Centre Director for the African Center of Excellence in Biotechnology Innovation for Vector-borne Disease Elimination (CEA/ ITECH-MTV) also received the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for his outstanding research on fighting malaria in Africa. 






Regarding students’ excellence, Mrs. Njabeh Rita Bonwi and Mr. Richard Kwame Dogbey pursuing MPhil in Irrigation and Drainage Engineering at the West African Centre for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture (WACWISA) in Ghana received an award prize of US$ 2,000 each from the 2020 African Plant Nutrition Scholar Award. 



We congratulate the winners for these achievements. The ACE Impact project will continue to provide the necessary support and encouragement to centres in maximizing their potentials. 

Profiling the Centre of Excellence for Environment and Mining (CEA-EMIG)

Profiling the Centre of Excellence for Environment and Mining (CEA-EMIG) in Niger

The Centre of Excellence for Environment and Mining (CEA-EMIG) is one of the 53 Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) in West Africa.  CEA-EMIG is hosted by the School of Mines, Industry and Geology in Niamey, Niger. As part of the centres specialized in the thematic area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the EMIG has Mining and Environment as its primary focus areas with special interest in Geology, Civil, Industrial and Electrical Engineering.  

CEA- EMIG seeks to be one of Africa’s leading training hubs in environment and mining, providing high quality training to address regional challenges in Africa. The centre delivers specialized training in Minerals Extraction and Processing, Environment and Waste Management, Mining Safety, Restoration and Rehabilitation of Mining Sites and Management of Water, Soil and Noise, among others. These trainings are available in Bachelors, Masters, and short-term programmes. In addition, the center focuses on providing improved teaching and learning through regular availability of training of trainers’ programmes for faculty, and the promotion of applied research through university-industry linkages. 

The centre has conducted transformative research in validation of a natural material for sealing uranium processing discharge ponds, Geochemistry and Remote Sensing applied to the study of metal pollution of the environment by mine tailings, and Optimization of gold panning techniques and reduction of environmental impacts. With its ultra-modern classrooms and laboratories, as well as innovative teaching staff, the centre is committed to equipping students with the necessary skills and expertise required by industries as well as the applied knowledge to meet the demand skills for Africa’s development. The centre also provides a serene learning atmosphere and environment for students by providing accommodation and recreational facilities. Currently, there are 54 students enrolled under the project – 22 Masters and 32 Bachelors. 

To achieve its objectives, CEA-EMIG has collaborated with various institutions within and outside the region. Notable among these are the Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey (Niger);  Institut Catholique Polytechnique Saint Jérôme de Douala (Cameroon); University of Lomé (Togo); National Polytechnic Institute Félix HOUPHOUET BOIGNY; National School of Mineral Industries of Rabat (Morocco); International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering 2iE; Polytechnic School of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) and the University of EXETER (England). The centre is also part of the “Responsible Mining Activity and Sustainable Development Network”(RAMR2D) of the ACE Impact Thematic Network project. In strengthening its engagement with industry, EMIG has renewed its partnership through an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Société des Mines de l’Air (SOMAIR). The partnership has resulted in joint publication and implementation of research, internship opportunities for EMIG students, use of EMIG laboratories, and experts in carrying out SOMAIR activities.

Works of EMIG have received utmost recognition through awards such as the International Prize on Innovative works in Earth Sciences and Civil Engineering by the Vinci Construction, a global leader in the mining and construction industry. Again, in 2020 EMIG placed second in the world and first in Africa at The Trail Students Challenge also organized by Vinci Construction. 506 teams from 78 countries across the globe participated in the competition.  


For more information on CEA-EMIG visit their website here  

Follow CEA Impact Mining Environment on Facebook 

ACE Impact Partners with Japanese Government to strengthen University-Industry Linkages

In February 2021, funded by the Japanese Government’s PHRD Trust Fund, the World Bank Group and Kopernik launched a Pilot University-Industry Collaboration Program to enhance partnerships between African universities and Japanese companies as part of ongoing initiatives with the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) and the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF). The objective of this pilot is to build partnerships between African universities and Japanese companies with a focus on technology transfer.

The  pilot initiative aims to enable African universities to experience a number of opportunities, including the following  (i) identify how to improve institutional technology transfer capacity at the university level, (ii) receive recommendations on bridging capacity gaps and developing the institutions to be known for conducting technology transfer, adaptation and prototype development, and (iii) receive hands-on experience in enterprising by working directly with Japanese companies, focusing on user perspectives for applied research.

Given the interests from the Japanese government, universities, and companies to collaborate with African universities, the World Bank team facilitated the partnership development since 2018 through two study tours.

The pilot has recorded some substantial progress and has so far held two separate launch events for African Universities (March 2021), and for the Japanese Companies (April 2021). An online matching event for selected African universities and Japanese companies was also held in May 2021. In total, 35 universities and 8 companies applied to partake in the initiative. Among them, three (3) partnerships will receive in-depth technical assistance through the Kopernik. Kopernik will provide some facilitation and light support for 7 companies, which will work independently with 12 matched universities. A summary of the partnerships developed through the initiative is below.

Recipients of the In-depth Technical Support

ACE/PASET Universities Involved Companies Potential Areas of Collaboration (to be finalized)
Moi University SPEC Co.Ltd Conduct the testing of soil samples from Kenya. After the soil testing, conduct soil and STEIN (soil hardening agent made by SPEC) mixture research and test the right consistency.
University of Ghana Challenge Co.Ltd Collaborate in localizing an earthquake detection and alarm system to suit the local condition in Ghana. Measure the impact of the evacuation training in the case of earthquake.
Nelson Mandela African Institute of Technology Nikken Co.Ltd Identify potential test site and use cases for CLINCA 205 (Water disinfecting ceramic sand) in Tanzania. Joint research on how the product could treat and improve water condition in Tanzania. Develop a product distribution plan.


Recipients of the Light Support

Universities Companies
Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Luis Challenge Co.Ltd, Oui Co.Ltd, LocationMind
Ahmadu Bello University Oui Co.Ltd
University of Ghana Oui Co.Ltd
Institute of Mathematics and Physical Science LocationMind
Federal University of Technology Owerri LocationMind
Moi University Marubeni Corporation, Nikken Co.Ltd.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science of Technology Nikken Co.Ltd., LocationMind(TBD)
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology SEMCO Co. Ltd.
Egerton University SEMCO Co. Ltd.pk7jolu6y6t
International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering Nikken Co.Ltd (TBD)
University for Development Studies Nikken Co.Ltd (TBD)
Universidade Eduardo Mondlane SPEC Co.Ltd (TBD)


As a next step, the capacity assessment for technology adaptation has started for the three partnerships. From October 2021 to April 2022, testing and prototyping of the technology will take place and the dissemination of the initiative’s results is planned in May 2022.

Further questions on this initiative should be directed at Saori Imaizumi at


Investing in Inter-ACE Impact Thematic Networks

Investing in Inter-ACE Impact Thematic Networks

The ACE Impact Project has three components:

  • Component 1: Establishing new Africa Centers of Excellence and scaling-up well-performing existing ACEs (from ACE I) for development impact;
  • Component 2: Fostering Regional Partnerships and Scholarships; and
  • Component 3: Enhancing Regional Policymaking as well as Project Facilitation and Monitoring 

In order to stimulate the further development of the Regional Partnerships for multiplier effects in achieving the Project Development Objective, the AAU launched a new Call for Proposals for ACE thematic networks. A total budget of $800,000 was availed to support the strengthening of the thematic networks among the ACEs and their relevant partners. The Association of African Universities invited expressions of interest from the eligible ACE Impact thematic networks.

The aim is to advance collaboration on cutting-edge research, hence broadening the ACE Centers’ contribution to the knowledge economy. This networking support specifically contributes to accelerating scientific research activities anchored in world class academic practices, strengthen the interlinkages between specialized research centers across ACE Institutions; and deepen partnerships among ACE Impact Centres and collaborators across the continent. This support has been designed to increase the number and scope of networks that currently are coordinated through the PARTNERs initiative by the IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development).

This initiative is supporting 8 thematic networks covering  Agriculture, Health (outside of infectious diseases); Education, Energy, Urban and Transport; Environment; and the network of Colleges of Engineering. These networks have held their inception meetings to jump start and plan their activities for the next 2 years which will include joint resource mobilization for collaborative research and training.


FUTMINNA MANAGEMENT COMMENDS Africa Centre of Excellence for Mycotoxin and Food Safety (ACEMFS) 

The Management of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State Nigeria has commended the Africa Centre of Excellence for Mycotoxin and Food Safety (ACEMFS), FUT, Minna for its achievements so far. The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, gave the commendation recently while receiving a team from ACEMFS led by the Centre Leader, Prof. Hussaini Makun who gave a presentation on the centres activities and achievements. 

The Vice-Chancellor stated that the presence of the Centre, has improved the ranking especially in the area of post graduate programmes as the Centre has international students. Prof. Bala praised the doggedness of ACEMFS highlighting its commitment to work and assured of Management’s continuous support for the project. While commending and congratulating the relentless efforts of ACEMFS, he urged the Centre to do more in the area of short courses and accreditations which will boost its earnings. 

Earlier, Centre Leader, Prof. Hussaini Makun in his presentation on the activities and achievements of the Centre so far expressed appreciation to the University Management for their support at all times and assured of continuous commitment to the project. Prof. Makun disclosed that ACEMFS, FUT, Minna has earned a total sum of $1,668,880 in the last two years, making her the 3rd and 7th performing Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Nigeria and Africa respectively. Other achievements by ACEMFS, he disclosed, include appointment of the Centre Leader as a member of the National Food Safety Advisory Committee, an indication of the centres strong industrial link. 

He added that the Centre has also led a consortium of three ACEs to win the Association of African Universities grant of $100,000 for the establishment of West African Food Safety Network (WAFOSAN), while four of her students are on West Africa Network of infectious Diseases ACE (WANIDA) scholarship and ACEMFS is one of the centres that have fully adopted the online training mode using FUT, Minna based Google classroom and lectures are ongoing with members of International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), Sectoral Advisory Board (SAB) and faculties within the University amongst other achievements. 

The Deputy Centre Leader, Dr. Hadiza Muhammad, in her presentation disclosed that a total of 87 students were enrolled in the Centre for the 2019/2020 session, out of which 27 are international students from various African countries and Britain. The African countries include Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Niger Republic and Nigeria. The students, she said, received online lectures and have supervisors from Belgium, Italy, India, South Africa, United States and other partner institutions in Nigeria, mainly University of Abuja and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) and others. 

On her part, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Nanotechnology Research Theme Leader, Dr. Mercy Bankole said that the researchers in the Centre are performing well and their publications have increased the Centre’s earnings. She also revealed that the total earnings so far by the centre is 28% of the first year, effective from 2021. 

Dr. Bankole took the Management team through the indicators known as Disbursement Link Indicators (DLI), which showed how the centres earn from various activities ranging from institutional readiness, development impact of ACE, quality of students, short courses, programme accreditation, internship, teaching and research infrastructure, external revenue, research publications and entrepreneurship.  

At the end of the presentation, the VC, as mandated by the project, appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Faruk Adamu Kuta as the DLI 7 Officer to work closely with the Centre to execute the institutional impact aspect. DLI 7 is the institutional impact which is controlled by the Vice- Chancellors. 

ACEMFS, FUT, Minna is one of the World Bank funded centres of Excellence, which aims at creating learning opportunities and research results that will address Africa’s shortage of expertise in food safety and applicable solutions to ensure the safe, controlled and sufficient food supply that will support economic growth and public health, particularly in West and Central Africa. 

Centre Leader; ACEMFS, Prof. Hussaini Makun making a presentation to FUT, Minna Principal Officers.

Centre Leader; ACEMFS, Prof. Hussaini Makun making a presentation to FUT, Minna Principal Officers.By: Dorothy Elaigu. 

WACCI Holds its Annual Review and Strategic Planning Workshop

WACCI Holds its Annual Review and Strategic Planning Workshop

Day One of the WACCI Annual Review and Strategic Planning Workshop

Day One of the WACCI Annual Review and Strategic Planning Workshop

The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) held its Annual Review and Strategic Planning Workshop from May 16 – 22, 2021 at the Peduase Valley Resort, Eastern Region. The purpose of the workshop was to review key strategic decisions for the sustainability of the Centre and to develop clear roadmap to achieving this objective. 

Twenty-five participants comprising associate faculty members from the Departments of Crop Science, Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, and the Biotechnology Centre, University of Ghana (UG), as well as administrative and management staff of the Centre participated in the workshop. Other invited guests who engaged the participants include Professor Felix Asante (Pro-Vice Chancellor – Office of Research, Innovation and Development, UG), Professor Mohammed Salifu (Director General – Ghana Tertiary Education Commission), Dr Sylvia Mkandawire (Programme Manager – African Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact) and Professor Gordon Awandare (Founding Director – West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens). Representatives from three agribusinesses, the Legacy Crop Improvement Centre (LCIC), KOD Farms and Weddi Africa Limited, were also present to outline their plans for win-win public-private collaborations with the Centre. 

The Director of WACCI, Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah in his remarks stressed on the need for WACCI to continue to strategize and evolve in order to meet its aspirations.  

Prof Eric Danquah giving his opening remarks on the first day of the workshop
Prof Eric Danquah giving his opening remarks on the first day of the workshop


“We have come a long way. WACCI turns fourteen this year thus it is imperative that we have a solid strategy to drive the Centre and its activities forward”, he said.  

Professor Salifu and Dr Sylvia Mkandawire in their remarks commended WACCI for all its achievements and continuous efforts in changing the narrative of agriculture and food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Salifu congratulated the Centre on being one of the most successful Africa Centres of Excellence (ACEs) and emphasized the need for the Government of Ghana to use ACEs as entry points for a complete shift in postgraduate education in Ghana and to foster collaboration instead of competition.  Professor Asante acknowledged WACCI’s contribution to alleviating food and nutrition insecurity in the sub-region and enhancing the global visibility of the University of Ghana. He pledged the University of Ghana’s support in creating sustainable environments for the Africa Centres of Excellence to continue to thrive.  

The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), University of Ghana – Professor Felix Asante
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), University of Ghana – Professor Felix Asante

Professor Gordon Awandare, the Director of the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) delivered a talk on the topic: Creating and Sustaining a Globally Competitive Ecosystem for Research Excellence. He said that universities were the best places to build sustainable research capacities. He added that the recent major capacity building initiatives like the ACE Impact project were signs of hope for a rising Africa. 

The week-long workshop featured several updates from the Centre’s academic and administrative staff. These included updates from current faculty and postdoctoral fellows on their research, donor activities, communications strategy, human resources & administration, sectoral and industry partnerships, and Information & Technology infrastructure.  


WACCI was established in 2007 as a partnership between the University of Ghana and Cornell University, USA with funding from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to train African students on African crops in Africa for Africa. Since its inception, the Centre has enrolled 149 PhD students in Plant Breeding and 65 MPhil students in Seed Science and Technology out of which 95 and 30 have graduated respectively.  In 2015, WACCI was selected as one of the first Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) by the World Bank. In 2019, the Centre was selected as one of the winners of the World Bank ACE Impact project grant. Under this new project, WACCI is charting a new path to becoming an “African Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” 

For more information, visit the WACCI website: 

Facebook: West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement 

Twitter: @wacci_gh 

LinkedIn: West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement  

Final Day of the WACCI Annual Review and Strategy Planning Workshop
Final Day of the WACCI Annual Review and Strategy Planning Workshop


The Centre’s women in agricultural science striking a pose
The Centre’s women in agricultural science striking a pose

Centre for Dryland Agriculture and JR Biotek Foundation Conduct Training Workshop on Molecular Laboratory

Centre for Dryland Agriculture and JR Biotek Foundation Conduct Training Workshop on Molecular Laboratory

The Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) and JR Biotek Foundation conducted a hands-on plant molecular biology laboratory training workshop held at the CDA from 28th to 2nd July, 2021. 

The training workshop funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund was part of JR Biotek Foundation’s Reach and Teach Science in Africa flagship program which aims to advance agricultural research and innovation to achieve food security in Africa. 

Speaking through zoom platform, the founder and President of JR Biotech Foundation, Dr. Carol Ibe expressed pleasure in welcoming outstanding early-career agricultural researchers from Nigerian universities and research institutes to participate in this high quality laboratory training facilitated by excellent researchers.  

She said the training workshop would avail the participants the opportunities to learn new transferable scientific laboratory skills and connect with other researchers, possibly leading to new professional relationships and collaborations that promote new avenues and perspectives to solving Africa’s challenges. 

According to her, JR Bioteck Foundation’s vision is to train, inspire and empower Africa’s present and future research and bio-industry leaders who can effectively tackle food and nutrition insecurity on the continent.  Dr Ibe further commended the immense contribution of CDA, saying that “we can work together to transform Africa’s agricultural sector into a productive, effective, and efficient sector that provides useful opportunities and practical solutions to sustainable food production.” 

In his welcoming remarks, the Director, Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), Professor Jibrin Mohammed Jibrin, said the training is apt and timely considering the geometrical increase of population without corresponding food production in Africa and the persisting food loss. “We have problems of pest and diseases which devastate our crops. In Africa the loss is so high.” 

The Director further said that there is a need for cutting edge science and knowledge of molecular biology to address some of the problems that constrain food production which the training workshop provided. He urged the participants to learn well and apply the knowledge into practice to help solve the perennial Africa’s food security challenges. 

“You can also train others so that we have mass human resources that can assist in tackling our problems,” said the Director CDA, Professor Jibrin. 

The main objective of the laboratory hands-on session is to demonstrate the basic principles of molecular biology, including the Polymerase Chain Reaction (a technique used to amplify genomic DNA from plant or animal tissues), complimentary DNA synthesis by reverse transcriptase, real-time or RT-PCR, and the phenotypic characterization of root infecting mutualistic fungi in maize and peanut. 

In addition to the hands-on training is a Bio innovation for Africa Pitch Challenge, developed to encourage African scientists and stakeholders to work more collaboratively to develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges hampering Africa’s sustainable development. This initiative is the 4th edition whilst previous editions have led to the creation of innovative projects (in Africa) that are making a huge impact on smallholder farmers and farming systems in the region.    

Press Release – 5th ACE Impact Regional Workshop to hold virtually from May 24th -28th, 2021

For immediate release


Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project ensures sustainable growth and competitiveness by improving the quality, quantity and access of postgraduate education

5th ACE Impact Regional Workshop to hold virtually from May 24th -28th, 2021

Accra, Ghana (May 5th, 2021) – The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) will be organizing its 5th biannual Regional Workshop from May 24th – 28th, 2021. Fifty-three (53) Centres of Excellence and key stakeholders, including government representatives from participating countries, Vice Chancellors, representatives from the higher education sector, the private sector, policy think tanks, and partners such as the World Bank, the French Development Agency and the Association of African Universities are expected to participate in this meeting.

As an engine for producing quality postgraduate training and applied research to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa, the ACE Impact project is convening its stakeholders to review activities and progress made towards achieving its overarching goal – improving the quality, quantity, and development impact of postgraduate education in Africa.

The meeting will also afford the Centers of Excellence the opportunity to share experiences, build networks, and forge partnerships to ensure the successful implementation and sustainability of the project.

Broadly, the workshop’s programme will feature:
1. Overall progress registered in the implementation of ACE Impact and key priority areas.
2. Highlights on the digital education network project, which seeks to exploit the advances in digital technologies for education towards the transformation of teaching practices for the benefit of students.
3. Inter ACE Impact networking initiatives.
4. ACE Impact project’s engagement with the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), an initiative launched by African governments (with facilitation by the World Bank).
5. Parallel sessions on monitoring and evaluation, financial management, procurement and safeguards, as well as a special session for Vice-Chancellors whose institutions are involved in the project.
6. Learning and research outputs presentations by students undertaking innovative and transformational research at ACE Impact Centers.

The meeting will also focus on the key next steps for each country, institution, and center in implementing the project plans, and provide guidance to the centers to better meet the requirement and targets for disbursement, fiduciary, and safeguards.

The ACE impact project invites all key stakeholders to actively participate in this workshop and support the project, as it remains committed to pursuing its broad target of strengthening postgraduate training and applied research for Africa’s economic transformation.

– END –

Note to Editors
For further information, kindly contact Mrs. Felicia Kuagbedzi via email

Background information:
The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project is a World Bank initiative in collaboration with governments of participating countries to support Higher Education institutions in specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Agriculture, and Health. It is the first World Bank project aimed at the capacity building of higher education institutions in Africa. The first phase (ACE I) was launched in 2014 with 22 Centres of Excellence in Nine (9) West and Central African countries; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. The Project aims to promote regional specialization among participating universities in areas that address specific common regional development challenges. It also aims to strengthen the capacities of these universities to deliver high quality training and applied research as well as meet the demand for skills required for Africa’s development. The second phase (ACE II) was launched in East and Southern Africa with 24 centers across Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Based on the initial successes, the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) in collaboration with the African governments, launched the ACE Impact Project in 2018 to strengthen post-graduate training and applied research in existing fields and support new fields that are essential for Africa’s economic growth. There are 43 ACEs (25 new ones and 18 from ACE I); 5 Emerging Centers;1 “top up” center in Social Risk Management; and 5 Colleges and
Schools of Engineering. The new areas include sustainable cities; sustainable power and energy; social sciences and education; transport; population health and policy; herbal medicine development and regulatory sciences; public health; applied informatics and communication; and pastoral production.

• About the Association of African Universities (AAU). The Association of African Universities is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization created by African Universities to promote cooperation among them on the one hand, and between them and the international academic community on the other. Created in 1967, the AAU is the voice of higher education in Africa. AAU aims to improve the quality of African higher education, and to strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development by supporting the core functions of higher education institutions and facilitating critical reflection and consensus building on issues affecting higher education in Africa. The AAU is the Regional Facilitation Unit of the Africa Centres of Excellence project.

• About the World Bank Group. The World Bank Group is a multilateral development institution that works to reduce poverty. Its subsidiary IDA (International Development Association) finances the Africa Centres of Excellence series of projects. Established in 1960, IDA helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.

• About the French Development Agency. For more than 75 years, the French Development Agency (AFD) has been fighting global poverty by supporting policies and investments that benefit the poorest populations. Strengthening the social link between individuals, groups and territories is now at the heart of its actions in education, health, employment, urban planning, climate or biodiversity. For AFD, balanced development requires a real reduction in inequalities.

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