ACECoR (Ghana) inaugurates its multipurpose building, marking a significant milestone

In line with the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact’s (ACE Impact) goal of enhancing the quality and quantity of Africa’s postgraduate education, the Africa Center of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) has commissioned its ultra-modern, multi-purpose building complex.

This milestone signifies ACECoR’s accomplishment of a significant performance indicator (Disbursement Linked Indicator 4.3 – provision of enabling teaching and learning environment) within the ACE Impact project initiated by the World Bank. The building is designed to offer a congenial environment for faculty and students to continue producing cutting edge, research-based knowledge in coastal resilience and environmental sustainability.

During the inauguration, Mr. Sajid Anwar, an environmental specialist at the World Bank, acknowledged ACECoR’s contribution to the ACE Impact project and pledged the World Bank’s continuous support to elevate ACECoR to a globally acclaimed center of excellence. He highlighted ACECoR’s forward-thinking approach, especially in the context of developing sustainable and inclusive blue economies. “As we look into the future and beyond coastal resilience and recognize the growing importance of developing sustainable and inclusive blue economies, this is an area where I must admit that the great minds at ACECoR have a step ahead of the World Bank,” he said.

Mr Sajid Anwar, Environmental Specialist, The World Bank Group

Mr. Anwar added, “Through the West African Coastal Areas Management Programme (WACA), the World Bank is happy to support ACECoR with financing for the next five years as part of the WACA resilience investment project.”

Emphasizing sustainability, Mr. Anwar commended ACECoR’s efforts to address Ghana’s coastal and environmental challenges, recognizing the center as a home for future knowledge on coastal resilience. He highlighted ACECoR’s partnerships with the University of Tokyo in Japan and the Netherlands for innovative research on integrated settlement management and nature-based solutions in West Africa, aligning with the World Bank’s sustainability agenda.

Mrs. Eunice Ackwerh, World Bank Senior Education Specialist, highlighted ACECoR’s collaboration with NGOs in Ghana and the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Cape Coast as a key sustainability achievement.

Ms. Eunice Ackwerh, Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank Group
Ms. Eunice Ackwerh, Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank Group

The Association of African Universities (AAU) which is the Regional Facilitation Unit of the ACE Impact project represented by the Senior Project Manager, Dr Sylvia Mkandawire, underscored its commitment to ensuring an expansive and inclusive Africa higher education. Dr Mkandawire described the ACECoR building as a product of that commitment. “The AAU has been actively working with various universities and ACECoR’s building is a testament to the organization’s dedication to fostering academic excellence across the African continent.” she said.

Dr Sylvia Mkandawire, Senior Program Manager, ACE Impact Project, AAU
Dr Sylvia Mkandawire, Senior Program Manager, ACE Impact Project, AAU

Dr. Edmund Aalangdong, Head of Policy and Planning and Focal Point for the ACE Impact project at GTEC, affirmed GTEC’s unwavering commitment to continued collaboration with the AAU and World Bank. He assured them of GTEC’s persistent dedication to academic excellence and the pursuit of sustainable, impactful development in Africa. Dr. Aalangdong also highlighted GTEC’s preparedness to assist all Ghana centers, including ACECoR, underscoring the Commission’s commitment to offering continuous support for the center to attain additional milestones and celebrate further successes.

Dr. Edmund Aalangdong-Head of Policy and Planning ACE Impact Ghana National Facilitation Unit Ghana Tertiary Education Commission Accra

Dr. Edmund Aalangdong – Head of Policy and Planning ACE Impact Ghana National Facilitation Unit Ghana Tertiary Education Commission Accra

Also speaking at the ceremony was Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, Vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, which hosts ACECoR. He underscored the critical role ACECoR plays in shaping the future of maritime research and conservation at the university. He thus described the project as having the potential to become a beacon of academic excellence to significantly contribute to the university’s global standing in sustainability research and conservation efforts.

On his part, ACECoR Director, Prof. Denis Worlanyo Aheto, expressed gratitude for the funding support from the World Bank, implementation support from the Association of African Universities (AAU), collaborative support from the Government of Ghana, and the UCC community’s unwavering support.

Mr Sajid Anwar (2nd from left), Mrs Eunice Ackwerh (2nd from right), Dr Sylvia Mkandawire (3rd from left), Prof. Aheto (right)
Mr Sajid Anwar (2nd from left), Mrs Eunice Ackwerh (2nd from right), Dr Sylvia Mkandawire (3rd from left), Prof. Aheto (right)

The building complex hosts sophisticated research facilities, well-ventilated lecture halls, a contemporary library, and a state-of-the-art scientific laboratory, addresses the office space deficit at UCC’s Center for Coastal Management.

Attendees at the event, who were privileged to tour the facility, admired the potential the building holds for fostering interdisciplinary research and nurturing the next generation of scholars and expressed optimism for a secure future of Africa’s coastal environment.

UG@75: WAGMC supports with 75 laptops

The West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC) at the University of Ghana, one of nine Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence at the University of Ghana, has distributed 75 laptops to 75 postgraduate students across departments at the university. This action is in support of the University of Ghana’s ‘One student, One laptop’ (1S1L) initiative. 

In a short ceremony, dubbed 75 for UG@75, on Wednesday, July 19, at the forecourt of the Centre, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana outlined the aim of the 1S1L initiative. 

“The 1S1L programme was established for every student, irrespective of their financial background or discipline of pursuit, to own a laptop. Doing so will enhance their learning, research, and technological skills and build an inclusive digital academic community,” Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfoh explained. 

Prof. Amfoh thus commended WAGMC for supporting with 75 laptops, congratulated the 75 beneficiaries on winning, and encouraged other stakeholders and well-wishers to get involved in the 1S1L initiative. 

A group picture of WAGMC authorities and award recipients showcasing their awards after the ceremony
A group picture of WAGMC authorities and award recipients showcasing their awards after the ceremony
Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, UG Vice-Chancellor (middle); Prof. S Fiifi Ofori-Acquah, WAGMC Director (left); and Prof. Peter Quartey, Chairman 1S1L Committee (right)
Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, UG Vice-Chancellor (middle); Prof. S Fiifi Ofori-Acquah, WAGMC Director (left); and Prof. Peter Quartey, Chairman 1S1L Committee (right)

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, UG Vice-Chancellor (middle); Prof. S Fiifi Ofori-Acquah, WAGMC Director (left); and Prof. Peter Quartey, Chairman 1S1L Committee (right) 

The 75 for UG@75 is also in line with WAGMIG’s Postgraduate Laptop Fellowship programme, launched at its Fresher Graduate Student Fair on February 17, 2023, together with a Research Fellowship programme, both of which initiatives aim to empower students with resources and opportunities for enhanced teaching and learning. 

Belinda Henewaa Kyeremeh an MSc Genetic Counselling student receiving her award from the UG Vice-Chancellor
Belinda Henewaa Kyeremeh an MSc Genetic Counselling student receiving her award from the UG Vice-Chancellor
Group picture of Prof. Nana Aba Amfo, Prof. Ofori-Acquah, and some awardees
Group picture of Prof. Nana Aba Amfo, Prof. Ofori-Acquah, and some awardees

Having initially chosen 45 students from various departments for the Postgraduate Laptop Fellowship, in a competitive selection process led by a Fellowship Award Review Committee, WAGMC increased the number to 75 to commemorate UG@75.

Recipients of the laptops included postgraduate students from WAGMC, the University of Ghana Medical School, the School of Biomedical & Allied Health Sciences, and the School of Social Sciences.

Prof. Ofori-Acquah with the 2nd cohort of students from the WAGMC MSc Genetic Counselling Programme
Prof. Ofori-Acquah with the 2nd cohort of students from the WAGMC MSc Genetic Counselling Programme

Some of the awardees expressed their excitement about the programme and appreciation of WAGMC’s gesture.

“I was surprised when I was selected to receive the laptop. It is a fantastic offer. The laptop will go a long way in my research and proposal presentations for my various courses. Thank you to WAGMC and those who took the initiative to help the students,” said Emilia Sarpong, a first-year MSc Medical Laboratory Science student.

Other dignitaries present at the brief presentation ceremony were the Registrar of University of Ghana, Deans of various schools, Heads and Representatives of Departments, Representatives from other Centers of Excellence at the university—the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) and the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI)—, and some other senior members of the university.


As one of the 53 Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) project, WAGMC is funded by The World Bank and French Development Agency in close collaboration with the Government of Ghana.  By introducing new educational programmes in genetics and innovative research on common genetic disorders, WAGMC is contributing to the realization the ACE Impact’s overall goal of enhancing the quality and quantity of higher education in Africa.


For more information about WAGMC, please visit the website at

Combating cybercrime: ACETEL partners Digital Footprints to train security personnel

The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) has partnered Digital Footprints, a digital forensics and cybersecurity services provider in Nigeria, to train security personnel in digital forensic and incident response. 

The five-day training took place from Monday, June 19th to Friday, June 23rd, 2023, at the headquarters of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), ACETEL’s host university, in Abuja. 

Necessitated by a two-decade radical adoption in important aspects of national life—from Banking to e-Governance to e-elections—, the training aimed at equipping participants with essential knowledge, skills, and tools to identify, investigate, and respond to digital incidents, according to the Chief Executive Officer for Digital Footprints Limited, Dr. Tombari Sibe. 

Dr. Tombari Sibe, CEO Digital Footprints, taking participants on a course at the training centre
Dr. Tombari Sibe, CEO Digital Footprints, taking participants on a course at the training centre

“As cybercrime increases with the use of technology, it is important that as a nation we prepare our public and private sectors for the highly sophisticated world of cybersecurity. This is the reason ACETEL and Digital Footprints have put together this course to equip participants with the necessary skillset both as human and corporate entities to be able to stand up to the emerging threat.

“Practically inclined as we [Digital Footprints] are, we have made it [the course] practically oriented, using some of the best tools in the world and hands-on practice,” Dr Sibe reassured. 

In a speech made on his behalf by his deputy, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters reckoned an increasing threat of cybercrime in Nigeria. He emphasized the importance of empowering security personnel with digital forensic tools to curb the menace, hence the need for the training. 

“Cybercrimes are becoming increasingly alarming these days; hence, there is a need for software or methodology to arrest the situation. Digital forensics is inevitable if the law enforcement investigation today is going to be meaningful,” he concluded. 

Director, ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, giving her welcome address at the opening ceremony
Director, ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, giving her welcome address at the opening ceremony

Prof Peter’s sentiment was shared by his colleague Prof. Grace Jokthan, ACETEL’s Director. For Prof Jokthan, as cyber threats continued to evolve and challenge the security of people, organizations, and nations, it had become non-negotiable for guardians of the digital world to stay one step ahead and be armed with the knowledge, tools, and techniques to safeguard digital assets and preserve the integrity of evidence. 


“The training delved into the fascinating world of cyber investigation whereby we explored its such aspects as evidence connection, preservation, analysis, and effective management of cyber incidence. 

“Together, we navigated through real-life scenarios and examined the latest trends and challenges in the field. With these insights, participants, including National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC); Defence Research and Development Bureau (DRDB), Presidential Amnesty Programme, and the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Technology, should be better equipped to handle digital incidents, identify potential vulnerabilities, and mitigate future risks,” Prof. Jokthan said—optimistically. 

ACETEL is one of the 53 World Bank-funded Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact), which aim to enhance the quality and quantity of higher education on the continent. To support ACE Impact’s overall goal, ACETEL is developing human capacity and research to use technology to aid education. For more information on ACETEL and its activities, please visit the website. 

Breaking Barriers in Digital Innovation – The Story of Fatoumata Thiam

Fatoumata Thiam is a PhD student at the Centre of Excellence in Mathematics, Informatics, and Applications (CEA-MITIC) in Senegal. Her research focuses on Self-optimized Irrigation System based on the Internet of Things (IoT) in the Sahel. The Sahel is characterized by desertification and advancement of the sea, which accounts for limited access to arable farmland, as well as increased urbanization that threatens water resources. The resultant conditions are affecting farmers and their yields significantly, with the need for immediate advanced alternative irrigation. Ms. Thiam’s study aims to provide modern and affordable technology to farmers in water management, and precision irrigation with IoT. 

Fatoumata noted that she developed a passion for science at an early age which influenced her choice of study. She stated:

“I’ve always loved science and I grew up in it. Very early on I had access to computers, digital equipment, music players, etc. and it has always caught my attention and curiosity. The operation behind these technologies has always aroused my curiosity. Later, when the opportunity to do computer science at university arose, I seized it.” 

Noting some challenges, Fatoumata indicated that as a woman in a male-dominated area of IT, she is faced with gender-related impediments. She said “It can be difficult to evolve in this professional environment where the majority are men.  As a woman, one may face unique barriers in the IT industry, such as work-life balance. For example, being more likely to take time off to care for our families can affect career progression.  It is important to recognize that women have an important place in the information technology industry and must be treated fairly and justly.  Conscious efforts should be made to remove barriers and promote an inclusive and diverse work environment for all.” In spite of these challenges, her family has been a robust support system for her growth and career path. 

In the future, Fatoumata seeks to further broaden her horizon in IT and its related fields. She looks forward to commercializing her research on a large scale for maximum impact. She believes that with the necessary support and mentorship, women possess the ability to provide solutions and positively impact the digital sector.  

Empowering the Next Generation of Innovators: The CEALT creative space- Fablab (Djibouti)

The Centre of Excellence in Logistics and Transport (CEALT) at the University of Djibouti hosts a state-of-the-art creative space- an open access fabrication lab (fab lab) with advanced technology for project creation. The fab lab offers open-source software and hardware for designing, prototyping and product manufacturing. Accessible to the university community and CEALT’s external partners, it allows for a fast concept-to-creation process for the students at the University of Djibouti. 

Aimed at unlocking students’ potential and creativity, the Fablab empowers students with digital design skills, prototyping tools, and new digital technology access for entrepreneurship and research project development, as well as providing a hands-on, accessible environment. The fab lab has been instrumental in fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders. Key activities of the fab lab include research projects, conferences and workshops, intellectual support for students and teachers as well as exhibitions. 

Since its establishment in 2019, over 150 students have received training and mentorship with more than 50 training workshops and other activities organized each year. In line with bolstering entrepreneurship, four start-ups were established in 2022 to further nurture students’ innovations. Two awards (Hackathons) have been won from the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and Africa Innovations Week in recognition of ground-breaking innovations from the fab lab. The fab lab is not made accessible only to the university community, however, other individuals with a keen interest in technology are allowed to cultivate their interests through visits and trainings. Over 100 high school students have visited the fab lab to explore activities undertaken.

The CEALT fab lab is part of a global consortium of 1750 fab labs working collaboratively to offer the necessary resources and tools to enable a digitally dynamic and growing world. Other strategic partnerships have been established to further propel the activities of the lab as well as provide technical backstopping when necessary. These include: 

  • Technical partnership with the National Union of Djiboutian Women in the framework of the awareness campaign against Female Genital Mutilation and HIV AIDS 
  • Partnerships with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Innovation (MENI) and the World Bank in the implementation of the National Innovation Strategy 
  • Training and research collaboration with the American Embassy via Morgan State University. 

The Centre of Excellence in Logistics and Transport (CEALT) is one of the 53 centres of excellence established to address developmental challenges in priority areas in the region. With over 30% regional students’ population, the centre is dedicated to equipping its students with specialized training and research tools and knowledge in contributing to improving transport and logistics in the region. 

The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence: A Pathway towards Sustainable Development – High-Level Meetings with Partners

In collaboration with the French Development Agency, AFD (co-financier of ACE-Impact), the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, IRD (facilitating ACEs’ regional networks), and the Association of African Universities, AAU (ACE-Impact Regional Facilitation Unit), the World Bank is organizing a two-day high-level event under the theme: “The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence: A Pathway towards Sustainable Development”The event took place at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC, on October 17 and 18, 2022, and brought together the ACEs and the most influential decision makers in the development space to discuss the centers’ innovations and best practices at both national and regional levels, as well as their challenges and opportunities. Following the high-level event, the ACEs travelled on October 20 and 21, 2022 to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University for peer-learning and partnership opportunities.

The event was co-funded by the World Bank, the AFD and the World Bank China Partnership Facility (CWPF).

Read More about this event

ACENTDFB Research Discovers Prevalence of Dengue in Northern Nigeria

Written By Murrjanatu Abba

Contrary to previous studies on the commonality of Dengue fever in some parts of Nigeria, a study by a Master’s degree student of the Africa Center of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology, (ACENTDFB) hosted by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria Daniel Thakuma Tizhe found the presence of Dengue infection, as well as Dengue and Malaria co-infections with an overall sero-prevalence of 19.4% in Adamawa State. The study was supervised by Professor Jacob Kwaga and Dr. Grace Kia revealing that only Dengue virus serotype 1 isolates were found to be in circulation.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world such as Africa and Asia. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called Severe Dengue. The global incidence of Dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades and about half of the world’s population is now at risk. There is no specific treatment for dengue/severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates from more than 20% to less than 1%. Dengue prevention and control depends on effective vector control measures. The control and management of Dengue remains the primary priority of public healthcare institutions in  many endemic countries.

A population-based survey was conducted in healthcare facilities in Adamawa State, Nigeria to determine the occurrence of dengue fever based on ELISA serological test, and the serotypes of the virus in circulation, using the highly sensitive Real-Time PCR technique.

Prior to this study, dengue had not been reported in the study location, but this survey found dengue infection, as well as dengue and malaria co-infections, across the study locations with an overall sero-prevalence of 19.4%. Surprisingly only Dengue virus serotype 1 isolates were found to be in circulation.

Based on the study’s findings, it was recommended that public healthcare professionals should consider other causes of febrile illnesses hence the need to conduct laboratory diagnosis to determine the possible causes of the infection.

ACEGID (Nigeria) Trains 100+ Scientists from Over 30 African Countries in One Year

Written By Mr. Fikayo Oyewale

In the last year, the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) trained over 100 African scientists from more than 30 countries in next-generation sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens. This is part of the centre’s effort towards building genomics capacity across Africa. The workshops were held in-country, at ACEGID, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria, and at partner institutions in Cote D’Ivoire, Rwanda, Cameroon and Seychelles. The participants were staff of public health institutions drawn from countries such as Tunisia, Benin Republic, Togo, Liberia, Guinea, Djibouti, and other African countries. Participants receive hands-on sequencing and bioinformatics training facilitated by ACEGID’s pool of young doctoral and research fellows. These scientists demonstrated passion about sharing their expertise with others.


ACEGID was founded in 2014 with initial funding from the World Bank (over US$13 million including funds from the ACE Impact project), as one of the centres of excellence aimed at developing relevant human capacity to address Africa’s challenges through research and innovation. The centre continues to lead innovations in using genomics for surveillance, characterization and diagnosis of infectious diseases as well as for vaccine and drug development. The centre’s education and research missions is fused into a robust capacity building system targeted at young African scientists. ACEGID’s Director, Prof Christian Happi, discussed the rationale for the centre’s drive for capacity building on the continent and remarked saying: “We know that Africa has lots of pathogens that have pandemic potential. I think it is natural for Africa to be in the vanguard. Building capacity will enable Africa to be at the forefront of genomic surveillance, pandemic pre-emption and response” .

Scientists in public health institutions, who are responsible for their countries’ sequencing activities participated in the workshops. The participants expressed their thoughts about their experiences. “Frankly speaking, I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude for what you did for us. You took us from almost zero to a good level. Personally, I am very thankful and I wish to see you again,” said Jean Shimirwa, a participant in the training held at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Kigali, Rwanda.

Anissa Chouikha, Associate Professor at the Laboratory of Clinical Virology, Pasteur Institute of Tunis, said “This training is important to me because I am a virologist. It will help me monitor new variants and strains that are circulating in my country.” In recognition of the training and research efforts, ACEGID was recently awarded the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development for its continental capacity building effort, among others.

The Fight against COVID-19: How ACE-Impact health centres supported a stronger regional response through cutting-edge & innovative research

The Fight against COVID-19: How ACE-Impact health centres cutting-edge & innovative research supported a stronger regional response

Written By Mrs. Felicia Nkrumah Kuagbedzi

The African Continent, and by extension the world, suffered the brutal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in its various sectors including the higher education sector.  This article profiles the impressive contribution of the Health Centres under the ACE Impact project, in responding to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic on society.

Responses by the Centres, included the conduction of groundbreaking scientific research, technological innovations and sensitization of the general public.   Others included the provision of technical advice to governments and various national and continental level institutions on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Interventions

The centres have been instrumental in conducting cutting-edge research to guide the development of new approaches to disease diagnosis, prevention, and control. During the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Centre of Excellence in Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) hosted by the Redeemer’s University in Nigeria and the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) hosted by the University of Ghana were the first institutions in the sub-region to sequence the SARS-CoV 2 virus genomes to track mutations. In addition, CERHI and ACENTDFB (both in Nigeria) made available their ultra-modern laboratories in support of PCR tests for the COVID-19 virus.

The Conduction of Groundbreaking Scientific Research


Centres of Excellence in the fields of genomics and infectious diseases were instrumental in the genomic sequencing of the virus. Notable among the centres were ACEGID and WACCBIP The centres successfully sequenced genomes of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) and also tracked mutations of the virus leading to the discovery of the new variants in the respective host countries and the continent at large. ACEGID alone tested over 141,000 samples from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Rwanda, Gabon and Algeria, and was one of the first within the region to identify the Alpha, Beta, Delta, Omicron, 20A, 20B, 20C, 20G, among other variants of the virus. WACCBIP was also the only center to conduct nation- wide sequencing covering all the 16 regions of Ghana. Between 2020-2022, over 20,000 tests were conducted across Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. The center also identified the first cases of Alpha, Eta, Omicron, BA2, BA4 among other variants in Ghana.

Again, ACEGID developed a COVID 19 screening tool to measure individual risk levels. WACCBIP also developed a scalable test that can perform large scale screenings and rapidly test thousands to millions of samples at a given time as well as an affordable Antigen test developed in collaboration with the University of Southampton. Several research publications on mutations and management of the COVID-19 virus have been published by both centres including the first African manuscript of genetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 variations published by WACCBIP.

Collectively, ACEGID and WACCBIP supported over 30 other African countries in terms of genome sequencing, training of scientists, and guiding government policies in terms of managing the spread of the virus. These countries include Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, among others.

The contributions of these centres have been acknowledged by governments of the host countries, continental and international bodies -including the World Health Organization and the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, media houses and various stakeholders within and outside the science fraternity. In addition, WACCBIP and ACEGID received funds from various donors and development partners to strengthen COVID-19 research among other research activities of the centres. ACEGID received over US$ 58million from the Rockefeller Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. WACCBIP also benefited from over US$6 million in funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the ACE-partner Programme through the WANIDA Network, K FCDO Ghana Partnerships Beyond Aids Programme, WELLCOME/FCDO Grant, the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

Other centres such as the Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI) and the Africa Centre of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology (ACENTDFB) both in Nigeria also availed their centres’ laboratories for further relevant research.

Technological Innovations

Some of the non-health thematic ACEs came up with technological inventions which contributed greatly to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre for Mathematics, Computer Science, and ICT (CEA-MITIC), Senegal developed a software for the electronic management of COVID-19 patients’ files and an application (app) for self-screening. The app is used to assess user symptoms and exposure to determine their risk of infection. In addition, ACEGID developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which showed over 90 percent effectiveness during preclinical trials. The centre for the Teaching & Learning of Math and Science for Sub-Saharan Africa (CEA-MS4SSA) produced solar-powered hand washing equipment for institutions in Niger. Given that power supply is intermittent in many places across Africa, such solar-powered handwashing equipments are highly essential, as they ensure a smooth and uninterrupted operation process, thus facilitating frequent hand washing, and curtailing the spread of Covid-19 in many communities and environments.


Public Sensitization and Mass Production of Protective Items

The Centres worked closely with their host universities to raise awareness about the need for heightened hygiene practices. This was achieved using different channels such as posters, digital campaigns, memos and publication in the media. ACEs such as the Centre for Public Health and Toxicological Research (ACE-PUTOR), Centre of Excellence for Population Health and Policy (ACEPHAP), Africa Centre of Excellence for Drug Research, Herbal Medicine Development and Regulatory Science (ACEDHARS), engaged in diverse sensitization campaigns to enhance knowledge of the public on the pandemic. These centres contributed greatly to the production of protective items for use in their respective countries

TRECK enhances it’s centres digital infrastructure to expand online training & regional access

TRECK to Employ Digital tools for Traffic Data Collection and Monitoring: The Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) – Regional Transport Research and Education Centre Kumasi (TRECK) has acquired various digital tools to provide hands on training for its graduate students.  Since November 2019, TRECK annually embarks on training workshops for students aimed at mainstreaming the use of digital tools for traffic data collection and project monitoring in Kumasi. The studentsare able to setup, retrieve data, and conduct analysis with various tools including a) speed measurement and monitoring using the radar and laser speed guns, the pneumatic tube and counter for vehicle classification, spot speed measurement, headway and other video-based equipment including monovision counters. Another aspect of the training involves the use of Unmanned Ariel Vehicles or drones for traffic monitoring, Construction project monitoring, use of drones for geographical data for design of roadway alignment and area wide traffic congestion surveillance and software for the design of road infrastructure.

Senior PhD students teaching newly enrolled MSc student in Drone piloting

TRECK Sets up Studio and Embarks on Digitization of Courses: TRECK has also acquired studio equipment to enable its staff to offer hybrid courses, webinars and provide online teaching. The Centre is currently embarking on a driver to digitize its MSc Transport Leadership course to enable participants to take over 60% online classes and only 30% residential on campus activities. Property management cleaning can be a lucrative option for experienced and qualified cleaning experts and cleaning companies in California. This will make its courses accessible to more participants across the regional countries, reduce the time spent off work to attend graduate school classes, and make individual courses accessible to the working class.

Use of digital Apps to Improve the Transport System in Ghana: Researchers at the Africa Centre of Excellence – Regional Transport Research and Education Centre Kumasi (TRECK) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana have developed a Mobile App which gives detailed route guidance and location identity for travel planning in Twi (a local Ghanaian language) and English. It also has a Twi travel dictionary, local business database, cultural and social information and uses popular landmarks to provide location information based on data collected through in-depth research conducted by the team. Read more about the MyTroski App.  The App is available on Google play store.


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