Inspiring the next Generation of Female Leaders – Professor Grace Jokthan

Inspiring the next Generation of Female Leaders – Professor Grace Jokthan

Prof. Grace Jokthan is the center leader of the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) and a member of the University Governing Council of the National Open University of Nigeria. She obtained her Bachelor of Agriculture degree in 1990 from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria and her Masters and Doctorate degrees from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria in 2002 and 2006 respectively. Prof. Jokthan’s key message to younger women in all ACE Impact centers, is “all challenges are surmountable through persistence, hard work and remaining focused.” In an exclusive interview with the ACE Impact communications team, she said that the journey to the top has not been easy, because as a woman, you have to put in almost twice the effort a man does to succeed, especially in the male dominated society that we find ourselves in.  “The roles of parenting, housekeeping, academic/office demands can be daunting and requires a delicate balance. I got married at level 100, so all my academic life was also when I had my three children, but with hard work, reaching your goals and being in a strategic leadership position to contribute to the transformation agenda, is within reach” she said.


A glimpse at Prof. Jokthan’s Journey to the Top Leadership Positions Held 

Prof. Jokthan started her career in the Department of Animal Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1992 as an Assistant Lecturer and rose to the rank of Associate Professor in 2010. Aside teaching and supervising several students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels within this period, she also served the University in various capacities, including being the Postgraduate Departmental Coordinator, Member of the University Senate Standing Committee and Head of the Department of Animal Science. She was a Member of the Board of Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) Multi Links Ltd, as well as a Member of the Governing Board of the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), Shika-Zaria. She also served as the Head, Department of Animal Science and Fisheries at the National Open University of Nigeria from 2016 to 2018.  “I was a pioneer Council Member of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) 2007 – 2011.  National Process Facilitator and, National Programme Manager for Research Into Use Nigeria (RIU) – Nigeria; a non-governmental DFID funded project that sort to improve the uptake of innovative agricultural research outputs” She added.  Prof Jokthan was previously a consultant on the Innovation Platforms to the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP).


Message to Fellow Senior Colleagues on Mentorship

Having benefitted enormously from the power of mentorship, she is encouraging other senior colleagues involved in the ACE Impact project to mentor the next generation as they strive to attain their potentials.  “Mentorship from my senior colleague who always told me not to give up helped me at my low moments and therefore we need to have more focus on providing such mentors in our institutions”, she said.


When asked whether being a female center leader brings any key difference to the project, she intimated that though the Project deliverables (DLI) remain the same, being a woman provides another perspective often not considered that is valuable and has helped in creating a team strong enough to face the task ahead and deliver on the target.

Bridging the Gender Gap – ACE Impact Champions Women, Girls Education, and Leadership

Bridging the Gender Gap – ACE Impact Champions Women, Girls Education, and Leadership

Having more females empowered through the acquisition of higher education degrees and relevant skills has been a key focus of the ACE Impact project. Female enrolment and involvement in the higher education sector, particularly in STEM subjects, has generally been low, with stakeholders being called upon to invest efforts to ensure that the pipeline of women in higher education as students, administrators, researchers, and leaders increases in proportion to the population of women in Africa.

ACE Impact is strategically responding to this call, by highlighting female enrolment as a key disbursement linked indicator in a bid to encourage all centers to prioritise female student enrolment in their centers. Current figures show that the project is making some remarkable progress in closing the gender gap in higher education. For the period January 2019 – December 2020, the number of females enrolled in ACE Impact Centers stood at 3,333, representing 31% of the overall target of enrolling 10,707 females during the project’s life cycle.

The project is advocating and calling on all centers to continue pursuing the set target, strategising new innovative ways to attract more female candidates into their centers until the gender is well and truly closed.

Within higher education, a key area where women are significantly underrepresented is in positions of leadership. With the month of March being dedicated to the celebration of Women (8th March being International Women’s Day), we focus our attention on one of our female center leaders who is serving as a key role model to young female students and faculty across Africa.

ACE in Focus: Get to know the Emerging Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport in Djibouti

ACE in Focus: Get to know the Emerging Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport in Djibouti

The Africa Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport (CEALT) is one of the two emerging centers of Excellence located in Djibouti, and one of the five new emerging centers of excellence under the ACE Impact Project.  The republic of Djibouti places a high premium on education, seeing it as an essential tool for Djibouti’s growth and development. Given the country’s strategic location (the Suez Canal, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Shipping route) and its significance in global trade and international shipping, CEALT is top priority for the Government as the country continues to leverage its natural positioning to its advantage.


CEALT is hosted by the University of Djibouti, in addition to a second Center – the University of Djibouti School of Engineering and aims to become a regional logistics hub in Africa, specializing in the field of logistics, transport, and applied digitization. In line with the ACE Impact Project, the center has been working to improve the quality, quantity, and development impact of postgraduate education in Africa.


Since its establishment, the Africa Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport has continued to be an active player in the logistics sector by strengthening the capacity of human resources on the continent through training, education (at Masters and PhD levels), research, and services to the society in the form of community engagement. It practices an active pedagogy, with a strong component of exposure to problem-solving, case studies, and internships in companies. This Center of Excellence prioritizes the promotion of women’s access to higher education and the investment of efforts to increase the number of female students and faculty until equality is achieved


Composition of the Center

The Africa Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport is made up of two (2) key components – CELT (Logistics and Transport) and Co-E (College of Engineering). It is equipped with an infrastructure of international standards and welcomes motivated Master and Doctorate students who are selected through competitive examinations administered by the University of Djibouti.


Key Objectives and Expected Results

CEALT aims to provide the Republic of Djibouti, as well as the countries of the region, with highly competent and innovative technicians, specialists, engineers and executives in the strategic development sectors of Africa such as Logistics, Transport, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. CEALT offers high-quality engineering training which responds to the real needs identified in promising socio-economic sectors such as transport systems, electrical and energy engineering (GEE), civil engineering (GC), and Data Sciences (MDS). The center has a target to promote research within the University of Djibouti, and beyond, through the production of high-level scientific research articles.


Key Achievements

  • Recruitment of the first batch of 9 doctoral students from the University of Djibouti
  • Reinforcement of the master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Reinforcement of the master’s degree in Civil Engineering
  • Reinforcement of the Master in Logistics and Transport
  • Establishment of a Masters in Data Sciences in 2019 academic year
  • The establishment of two Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Civil Engineering Laboratories, (FabLAb)
  • Development of smart classes and fully equipped state of the art computer rooms.



The center is managed by Dr Abdoulkader Ibrahim Idriss who serves as the center leader. Additionally, CEALT relies on two advisory councils – scientific experts to validate the quality of its academic approach, and industrial experts to validate the relevance of its approach to the needs of businesses and the socio-economic sector.


How the ACE Impact Project is Transforming the Center

Under one of the key project subcomponents, ACE Impact is strengthening, through partnerships, both undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes that will provide training to their students and develop skills which are useful in addressing the national development needs of Djibouti. The center is also receiving support for activities including regional technical assistance to strengthen academic programmes and curriculum design; faculty scholarships and training; costs of visiting faculty; technical assistance for institutional policies and practices; improving teaching and research resources; and other regional engagements. Overall, the project has helped improve networking and the broader learning environment of CEALT.



Contact CEALT here

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.

CERHI Receives the Seeding Labs 2020 Instrumental Access Award

The Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI), University of Benin, Nigeria is one of 18 awardees to receive equipment that will build scientific infrastructure to advance research and teaching from the 2020 Seeding Labs Instrumental Access.

The equipment were received by the CERHI management led by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Lilian I. Salami, CERHI Centre Leader, Professor Friday Okonofua, among other members.

The Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI), is a World Bank supported African Centre of Excellence in the University of Benin. It was established in 2015 to build capacity for implementing high quality training and applied research in reproductive health. CERHI offers Masters, and PhD programmes in public health, nursing, reproductive health, and health economics. The Centre is accredited by the Agency for Public Health Education on Accreditation (APHEA), Belgium and the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES), France.

The Centre currently collaborates with several departments in the Faculties of Basic Medical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Pharmacy in multidisciplinary research. Although CERHI Medical and Research Laboratory already has a decent array of laboratory equipment; the high-tech equipment received from the Seeding Labs Instrumental Access would facilitate research in the centre and university at large.

Seeding Labs is a Boston-based nonprofit organization aimed at building the capacity of scientists in conducting transformative researches. Through a coalition of more than 140 public and private sector partners, Seeding Labs provides scientists in developing nations with lab equipment, training, and opportunities to collaborate with experts in their field—and to use these vital resources to improve education, research, and economic development. This makes it possible for most budding researchers in low- and middle-income countries to conduct excellent research in their home country.

ACEs meet to Strengthen their Capacities to Deliver Quality Post-Graduate Training and Applied Research

The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE I) and Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) projects will be holding a biannual meeting in Dakar, Senegal from September 23-27, 2019. With support from the Ministry of Higher Education in Senegal, the World Bank and its partners (Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Association of African Universities (AAU)) launches the eleventh ACE I and second for the ACE Impact projects.

The meeting brings together several actors of the higher education sector, including, Vice Chancellors and academics from institutions hosting the Centers, government representatives from the participating ACE1 and ACE Impact Countries, the private sector, industry players and policy think tanks. The overarching goal is to create a platform for the Centers to gain knowledge relevant to the implementation of the projects, exchange information on their respective programs, build networks and forge partnerships to ensure the successful implementation and realization of the project’s objectives.

Click to read Press Release in English

ACEI and ACE IMPACT Official Opening Ceremony held in Djibouti on Wednesday 20 February 2019

The much-anticipated opening ceremony for the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact Project was held on the morning of Wednesday 20th February 2019 at Kempinski Hotel in Djibouti City, Djibouti. Dr Saida Chideh Soliman was the madam of ceremonies. In attendance were the President of the Republic of Djibouti H.E. Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh, the First Lady of the Republic of Djibouti, The Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Research in Djibouti, H.E. Dr Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities, Prof Etienne Ehouan Ehile, the Djibouti World Bank Country Representative, Mr Atou Seck, and the French Development Agency Deputy Manager for Education, Vocational Training and Employment Sector, Ms Valerie Tehio. 

Remarks by the Secretary General of the AAU

Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile applauded the President of the Republic of Djibouti for taking time out of his busy schedule to participate in the ACE IMPACT Official Opening Ceremony. He said that this confirmed the President’s commitment to the Education Agenda in Djibouti and Africa as a whole. He also thanked the Government of Djibouti for supporting the hosting of the 2019 ACE meetings. He reminded the audience about the African Union Commission Policies and International Development Policies that promote the growth of education. He reiterated that strategic investments in Higher Education were critical for national development. On a lighter note he asked the President to ‘always remember the gratitude of the higher education stakeholders when he hears the cock crowing every morning’. Please Click Here for the Full Speech of the AAU Secretary General

Remarks by the Representative of the French Development Agency

Ms Valerie Tehio the Deputy Manager for Education, Vocational Training and Employment Sector made remarks on behalf of the French Development Agency (AFD). She said that the AFD was honoured to be part of this event and the ambitious ACE IMPACT program. AFD looks forward to contributing to the success of the ACE IMPACT project – through complementary support for regional networking and funding of technical experts to support selected ACEs. She concluded by wishing the participants successful meetings.

Remarks by the Djibouti World Bank Country Representative

Mr Atou Seck thanked all the participants for coming to Djibouti to attend the scheduled meetings. He also thanked all the institutions represented for their willingness to collaborate. He paid tribute to Mr Andreas Blom for his well-documented efforts towards strengthening African Universities. He mentioned that Djibouti was selected as an emerging Centre of Excellence in Africa in the field of logistics and transport within the faculty of engineering. He predicted that in future people would come to Djibouti to learn about transport and logistics or to do cutting edge research in the areas of transport and logistics.

Remarks by the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Djibouti

H.E. Dr Nabil Mohamed Ahmed welcomed the participants to “Djibouti the land of encounters, the land of peace and the land of engagements”. He expressed his joy that this event had materialized as per his vision. He paid tribute to the World Bank and AAU for supporting the Government of Djibouti to hold the ACE meetings in Djibouti City. He also congratulated the University of Djibouti Vice Chancellor for successfully spearheading the associated planning and logistics. He emphasized that it was the responsibility of Africans to work hard and ensure that educational institutions were effective and that the certificates given were recognized internationally. He said that Africa needed to catch up in the area of applied new technologies. Djibouti needs to optimize the transport chain by harnessing technology. Djibouti must exploit its competitive advantage as a transport hub. There is also an urgent need to increase the number of Djiboutian women Professors

The Message from the Honourable President of the Republic of Djibouti

His Excellency Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh the President of the Republic of Djibouti congratulated the organizers and the participants for the holding of the conference and the launch of the ACE IMPACT Project. He thanked the partners for positioning Higher Education to support the socio-economic development of African countries. He voiced his delight that Djibouti was now a member of the restricted club of ACE universities. He reminded the audience that he was a firm believer in providing African solutions to African problems. Therefore, he was thrilled that the ACE Djibouti would focus on logistics and transport. The President said that the transport sector was the “lungs of Djibouti”. Djibouti was ready to exploit its strategic location. There was a need to digitize the transport and transit procedures for the Djibouti transport sector. He underscored that scientific and technical development was therefore key. He ended his remarks by stating that he believed in the capacities of African countries, the youth and African researchers. He officially declared the conference opened.

Links to some photos.

AAU Staff pose for a photo with some participants during the ACE Impact Opening Ceremony in Djibouti
A cross-section of the attendees during the ACE IMPACT Opening Ceremony on the 20th February 2019 in Djibouti

An overview of the first two Days of the ACE Meetings in Djibouti

At least 450 Higher Education stakeholders (representing over 30 nationalities) gathered in Djibouti to attend a string of meetings under the banner of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project from 18 – 26 February 2019. The various meetings included the Project Steering Committee Meetings for the ACEI Project and the new ACE IMPACT Project, the 10th ACE I workshops and the ACE IMPACT Bootcamp.

On the 18th February 2019 the day zero activities were at the Kempinski Hotel and they focused on the 14th Project Steering Committee Meeting for ACE I and the 1st ACE IMPACT Project Steering Committee Meeting. Here is the 14th ACE I PSC Meeting Agenda (English); 14th ACE I PSC Meeting Agenda (French) and the ACE Impact PSC Meeting Agenda (English)

Day one activities were hosted by the University of Djibouti on the 19th February 2019. 

In his opening remarks, Mr Andreas Blom, ACE IMPACT Task team Leader with the World Bank welcomed all the participants and encouraged them to use the opportunity to engage and learn from their colleagues. He also praised the ACEI institutions for the amazing results that they had achieved to date. The ACE IMPACT Project, valued at over USD350 million, is a result of the success of the ACEI Project. The World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) in collaboration with the African governments, have conditionally identified 44 ACEs (26 new ones and 18 from ACE I); 5 Emerging Centres; and 5 Colleges and Schools of Engineering for funding through this new phase called “ACE IMPACT”.

Professor Djama Hassan Mohamed, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Djibouti also welcomed all the participants – saying that despite all the problems that abound, the African continent was changing. He called for strong bonds of collaboration between and among the Centres of Excellence. He emphasized the need for universities to actively mentor their students, expose them to quality research and allow them to explore new frontiers of knowledge.

The plenary on “Creating Strong Regional Networks” was chaired by Prof Fahmi Ahmed and facilitated by Gen Xavier Michel. This session exposed the ACE Centers to selected and relevant regional networks that they could learn from or collaborate with.  

Please find links to some files that may be of interest to you

A picture view of participants during the ACEI Meeting at the University of Djibouti on the 19th February 2019
A front-view of participants during the ACEI Meeting at the University of Djibouti on the 19th February 2019

Obituary Kofi Annan 1938 – 2018


The Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU) on behalf of the Governing Board and African Universities, expresses our profound shock at the passing of Ghana’s Nobel Peace Laureate and her finest international diplomat of all-time, Busumru Dr. Kofi Annan, which sad event occurred in the early hours of Saturday, August 18, 2018 in Berne, Switzerland. He was 80.

A highly respected global statesman, Kofi Annan led a life concentrated on the pursuit of a just and peaceful society. Born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938, Mr. Annan studied at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi and completed his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College in the United States in 1961 before undertaking his graduate studies in economics at the Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales in Geneva. As a 1971- 1972 Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Annan received a Master of Science degree in management.

Kofi Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization in Geneva from where he rose through the ranks to the highest position of Secretary-General of United Nations for two terms, spanning 1997 to 2006.

The Association of African Universities extends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and commiserates with Ghana, Africa and the United Nations on this sad event. In compliance with the directive from the Government of Ghana, the flags of AAU would fly at half-mast for one-week beginning Monday 20th August, 2018 in honour of a man known for his humility, nobility and love for peace.

While mourning the passing of this global icon, the AAU pledges to uphold Kofi Annan’s virtues and celebrate him for living a life worth emulating. May his soul find eternal rest.

AAU East Africa Regional Office launched in Sudan

The East Africa Regional Office for the AAU is launched

On the 14th March 2018 the East Africa Regional Office for the Association of African Universities was successfully launched in Khartoum, Sudan. This memorable event took place at the Sudan Ministry of Higher Education Conference Room. The East Africa Regional Office for the AAU is hosted by the University of Khartoum and its mandate covers the 11 countries of East Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia).

The high profile dignitaries in attendance included the Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Sudan (Professor Somia Abo Kashawa), President of the AAU (Professor Orlando Antonio Quilambo), Secretary General of the AAU (Professor Etienne E. Ehile), Vice Chancellor University of Khartoum (Professor Ahmed M. Suleiman), Association of Sudanese Universities (Professor Ahmed Altayb), President Sudan International University and Vice President of AAU (Prof Bakri Osman Saeed), Executive Secretary of RUFORUM (Professor Adipala Ekwamu), Vice President Al Azhar University in Egypt (Professor Yousuf Amer),  Director of  development projects and Innovation Center Manager at Ain Shams University, Egypt (Prof M.S. Al-Kotb) and representatives of the Arab Bank for Economic Development, UNESCO, Private Sector, Diplomatic Missions, Professional Association of Sudanese Universities Academic Staff  and Students Associations

The main goal of the AAU East Africa Regional Office is to increase the impact of AAU activities in East Africa and maximise the benefits of AAU to the membership universities in East Africa. This decentralization of the Association’s activities is expected to help improve both the visibility of the AAU and the quality of higher education in Africa. Some specific objectives of the East Africa Regional office include:

  1. To enhance the role of governments at the sub-regional level in supporting the activities of the Association;
  2. To promote knowledge sharing within the Eastern African sub-region and with the other 4 sub-regions;
  3. To actively promote collaboration among academia, civil society, private sector and governments at the sub-regional level;

Other AAU Regional Offices will be launched in North Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa.

Please download the relevant attachments below:

  1. The Photo Album of the Launch:
  2. Declaration of Khartoum: Khartoum Declaration
  3. Memorandum of Understanding between the AAU and University of Khartoum: MOU AAU Reg office Sudan
  4. AAU Secretary General’s Speech: SG East Africa Regional Office Launch
  5. President of AAU’s Speech: AAU President Launch East Africa Regional Office
  6. RUFORUM Executive Secretary’s Speech: Goodwill Message from Prof. Adipala Ekwamu
  7. Arabic version of Vice President Al-Azhar University Speech in Sudan: Arabic version Al-Azhar Univer
  8. English version of Vice President Al-Azhar University Speech in Sudan: English version Al-Azhar Univ
  9. French version of Vice President Al-Azhar University Speech in Sudan: French version Al-Azhar Unive
  10. Kiswahili version of Vice President Al-Azhar University Speech in Sudan 15 March: Kiswahili version Al-Azhar U

Contact Details

Dr. Faiza Mohamed Osman Mahmoud

University of Khartoum, AAU East Africa Regional Office

Telephone: +249 90 9005274, Email: and copy


The History of the Association of African Universities (AAU)

The decision to create the AAU was taken at a meeting of Heads of African Institutions of Higher Education held for this purpose at the University of Khartoum, Sudan in September 1963. The International Association of Universities assisted in planning and making administrative arrangements for this meeting and was invited to cooperate with the Interim Committee that was set up to draft a constitution for the AAU. A founding conference attended by the Heads or Senior representatives of 34 African Universities was held at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco on 12th November 1967. In this meeting the constitution was adopted and the first officers and members of the Executive Board of the AAU were elected. The second General Conference of the AAU was held at Lovanium University in Kinshasa in November 1969 and new officers and a new Executive Board were elected to take office in 1970. The Government of Ghana won the bid to host the AAU – and the secretariat has been hosted in Ghana since 1970.


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