Innovative Societies Have Stable Economic Growth – Dr. Danica Ramljak

A senior consultant and expert in entrepreneurship and innovation at the World Bank, Dr. Danica Ramljak underscored the critical role innovation and entrepreneurship play in advancing the economic growth of countries.  Speaking during the session on entrepreneurship and innovation, at the 7th ACE Impact regional workshop held in Cotonou Benin, she called on higher education institutions to strengthen their efforts in the areas of technology transfer, development of institutional innovation and the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The session broadly featured an interactive discussion on how the 53 Centres of Excellence are progressing with entrepreneurship and innovation, building on lessons from both within and outside the African continent.

 

The Disbursement Linked Indicator (DLI) 5.3 – Key Observations and Next Steps

Making a presentation on DLI 5.3 which focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship, Dr. Danica Ramljak took participants through the key targets of the implementation plan, including a focus on innovation-oriented cooperation in research infrastructures and collaboration with the private sector. Centres had earlier been given opportunities to develop implementation plans on how to accomplish the activities related to innovation and entrepreneurship as part of DLI5.3. Dr. Danika used the opportunity to provide feedback to the Centres on their applications.

She called on the centres to pay special attention to the established criteria for the review process of applications under this indicator, which included – quality background description of institutional and innovation ecosystems. Others included justification for the proposed activity and a detailed explanation of the proposed implementation plan with specific descriptions of each activity, highlighting the goals, timelines and person (s) responsible.  The verification criteria and budget as well as the justification for the budget were said to be part of the criteria.

Commenting on the general results from the review process, it was mentioned that the quality of applications significantly differed, in ways which cannot be attributed to the country of origin or scientific research interest areas of the Centres. The number of improved resubmissions were also noted to have been significantly increased during the resubmission stage. Again, it was observed that the Centres were at different levels in terms of institutional innovation ecosystem.

Participants were reminded of the key roles of higher education in the areas of knowledge generation, training of skilled human resource and the development of technology that can be transferred to industry among others.  Based on these roles, including others such as undertaking research for industry and the development of competitive products, the session participants were encouraged to advocate and engage the authorities in their institutions and at the country levels to prioritise innovation.

They were also encouraged to measure and determine the technology readiness level of their institutions for innovation and commercialisation as this was an important step towards planning and putting measures in place to foster the readiness of their systems for full scale deployment.

Key among the recommendations towards becoming fully blown entrepreneurial and innovative institutions, the importance of having appropriate Science Technology Innovation (STI) policies in place and ensuring its effective implementation was underscored. Other recommendations outlined included – ensuring institutional capacity building for STI management and governance, the establishment of efficient models for knowledge transfer and the provision of institutional capacity building. It was also recommended that centres define their research and development priorities, develop a roadmap for research infrastructure and provide sustainable support for innovation development.  Equally important to fostering innovation and entrepreneurial activities were the recommendations to attract the private sector to collaborate and invest in HEIs research and development (R&D), the need to strengthen international collaborations, a well as inform the general public about the importance of the Centres’ work.

Experience Sharing on Entrepreneurship and Innovation by Three Centres of Excellence – ACECoR, CERSA and OAU-OAK PARK

A high-level panel composed of Mr. Joshua Adotey from the Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR), Ghana, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu from OAU ICT-Driven Knowledge Park, Nigeria and Dr. Edoh representing the Regional Center of Excellence on Avian Sciences (CERSA), Togo discussed key issues and shared their experiences on how to excel and meet the requirements of DLI 5.3.

Speaking on the key challenges encountered in their institutions’ ecosystems which inhibit their work in this area, CERSA identified the lack of a technology transfer office to facilitate their commercialization process, and the low marketing of results generated by the researchers.  For ACECoR, there was the lack of entrepreneurship policies at the initial stage of developing the framework for the DLI. Limited engagement and collaboration between industry and the university was also a challenge, however this has been improved drastically and currently industry members are engaged closely in various ways, including in remodeling some programmes and courses.  ACECoR highlighted how the support from university authorities, especially the vice-chancellor helped them overcome some of their challenges, leading to the strengthening of their technology office.

For OAU-OAK PARK, the focus on developing the skills of students had been prime on their agenda, however the development of IT entrepreneurs had not been prioritized, thus they identified the need to train the youth in this area for wealth creation and capacity development among others.  Having done all these however, the key challenge of their inability to attract investors to fund the innovations and products including spin off institutions, remains.  Another challenge faced related to intellectual property rights issues which come up as they partner with industry in generating some innovations.  Participants were told that the centre has put in place pragmatic measures to overcome these challenges, including training students to develop business plans, providing seed funding for the innovations, engaging the University’s intellectual property rights office from the start of discussions with industry players.

Speaking on how to be successful in innovation, the experienced panelists advised centres to strengthen their engagement with the private sector, implement measures to motivate their researchers, and to develop and implement institutional manuals and procedures to guide various processes. Again, the Centres were encouraged to ensure that there is a fully functional entrepreneurial ecosystem which has people with the right skills, a pool of investors supporting their research work, a ready market to uptake developed innovations and the sensitisation of stakeholders to embrace entrepreneurship. Additionally, commitment from institutional authorities toward innovation and entrepreneurship was said to be key, just like having an Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Office (IPPTO) and a sustainability plan.

Centre’s Impact on University Systems

Tackling the discussion on how Centre’s activities impact and strengthen the university system, numerous contributions were shared.  Among these, ACECoR for instance is engaging the University’s Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) in operationalising the formulation on Innovation, thereby building capacity in the team.  It is also creating an enabling environment for the service incubation centre of the institution.

Similarly, OAU- OAK is supporting capacity building of the institution’s Business Resource Centre, linking this centre to industry players and also collaborating with them to organise technology focused conferences. Again, some spin off companies from the centre’s activities now serve as places for practical skill acquisition for the University’s students, through internships.

 

Leveraging ACE Impact Project to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship in African HEIs

Following a question-and-answer session from participants, Dr. Danica Ramljak wrapped up the session by calling on the centres to leverage the opportunity presented by the project to improve their institutions’ innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.  Centres were encouraged to for instance draw on the project to beef up capacity in their technology transfer offices, if they are understaffed.  They were urged to strengthen partnerships among themselves as centres and with other international partners, advocate for the development and implementation of Intellectual Property Policies among others.

Finally, the centres of excellence were called upon to lobby and engage their ministries and universities to recognise innovation and entrepreneurship activities of researchers as part of career progress and promotion indicators, and equally work hard to bring in money from other external sources to support innovation and entrepreneurship as these are key ingredients to economic growth of countries across the continent.

 

Written By: Mrs. Felicia Nkrumah Kuagbedzi, Senior Communications and Publications Officer, AAU

Observations and Recommendations by the ACE Impact Subject Matter Experts

One key group of stakeholders present at the 7th ACE Impact Regional Workshop was the Subject Matter Experts. As part of the strategy to effectively implement the ACE Impact for Development Project, the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) – the AAU, has identified and is coordinating a team of subject matter Experts who contribute to the operational and technical implementation support and supervision of the ACE Impact Centers. These independent Experts are selected based on their academic and/or disciplinary expertise relative to the ACE Impact Centers, and their international experience in higher education and/or university leadership. Experts are appointed to support specific Centers and to contribute to the ACE Impact project.

Each ACE Impact Center has been assigned a primary Expert who provides implementation support and supervision to the Center. The Experts are supporting and guiding the ACE Impact Centers so that they attain scientific excellence, quality, relevance, and impact. Each Expert provides his/her inputs in close coordination and guidance from the ACE Impact RFU.

The key tasks of the subject matter experts include:

  1. Reviewing and providing expert insight and advice on the ACE Impact Centers’ implementation plans
  2. Reviewing and providing expert insight and advice on the ACE Impact Centers’ annual work plans.
  3. Mentoring the ACE Impact Centers as needed.
  4. Undertaking supervision and implementation Centre support visits which may either be in-person or virtual.
  5. Reviewing the research publications of the ACE Impact Centers to ensure compliance with ACE Impact objectives.
  6. Supporting the ACE Impact Centers by connecting them to potential university and industry partners, and potential funding opportunities.
  7. Reporting supervision findings to the Project Steering Committee during its Meetings.
  8. Participating in the ACE Impact Regional Workshops.
  9. Liaising with the RFU on any key factors that may hinder the success of Centers or the ACE Impact project.
  10. Providing ongoing advice and support to the RFU and the World Bank on the ACE Impact project.

Professor Joseph Mutale represented the subject matter experts on Tuesday 14th June 2022 to provide feedback from the subject matter experts to the ACE Impact Centres. He congratulated all the Centres for sustaining performance at the peak of the difficult Covid 19-season and for navigating new challenges by developing innovative ways to deliver education. He acknowledged that the Centres had adopted digital and blended learning methods to address the challenges posed by the Covid 19 era. He also stressed that as subject matter experts they were confident that the Centres would successfully address all their future challenges effectively, having learnt some lessons and gained experience over this period.

Professor Mutale shared key observations and recommendations for the Centres to consider towards ensuring the timely delivery of the project’s milestones. He advised that attention needed to be paid to the annual work plans and project management by assigning dedicated personnel to support these areas. New ACE Impact Centres were advised to start the self-evaluation processes early enough, to give them ample time to prepare towards international accreditation of their programs. It was indicated, that the research strategies for the Centres must clarify priorities, objectives, and available resources to support research. Centres were advised to effectively use their sectoral advisory boards and international scientific committees to strengthen their research strategies. Again, effective communication at all levels, especially with students, was singled out as extremely important for the effective implementation of the project. Enhancing regional dimensions in terms of internships, research, publications, and student recruitment was said to be a key way of ensuring the project’s success.

It was mentioned that the success of the ACE Impact project depends on the effective involvement of all team members and therefore the Centre leaders need to pay attention to this aspect. Increased engagement of university leadership to facilitate procurement and to address the causes of underspending were singled out as being equally important.

In conclusion, Professor Mutale called on the Centres to seize the opportunity of meeting physically for the first time after the COVID-19 outbreak to reconnect, exchange ideas and look for solutions to push the project forward. He stressed that the next six months were critical for the achievement of time bound project results. He pledged the commitment of all the subject matter experts to “remain available and committed to work” with all the ACE Impact Centres to enable them achieve the project objectives.

 

Written By: Ms Nodumo Dhlamini, Director – ICT Services, Communications and Knowledge Management at AAU

 

Centres of Excellence Explore More Effective Ways to Accelerate Development Impact in the Region

To propel the overarching goal of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact), and to ensure that the research outputs of higher education institutions  address national and regional challenges, the Disbursement Linked Indicator (DLI 2) was instituted.  The DLI2 indicator measures the development impact that Centres are having, both nationally and regionally in terms of the extent of their contribution to their respective sectors/industries. It supports the advancement of applied research, training of quality post graduates, industry linkages and innovativeness aimed at tackling societal challenges.  Its evaluation criteria include the number of student internships recorded by a centre, number of graduates hired in the sector, number of short courses delivered in response to sectoral stakeholder requests and an evaluation of Sectoral Advisory Board annual reports, as well as feedback obtained from interviews with sectoral stakeholders. The DLI 2, is coordinated by Technopolis in close collaboration with the Regional Facilitation Unit -the Association of African Universities and the World Bank.

 

At the ongoing 7th ACE Impact Regional Workshop, a session on Development Impact was held to provide the opportunity for an interactive discussion on how the centres are progressing towards achieving development impact in line with the project objectives. Chaired by Dr. Joshua Atah, the Focal Member for Nigeria, the session benefited from panel discussions involving Prof. Gordon Awandare from the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogen (WACCBIP), Prof. Emenike Ejiogu, Center leader for Africa Center of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Energy Development (ACE_SPED) and Prof. Daouda Mama, Center leader for the Africa Center of Excellence for Water and Sanitation (C2EA).

A presentation by the main speaker, Ms. Anneloes de Ruiter, a Senior Consultant with the Technopolis Group, noted that the primary goal of the ACE Impact project to enhance regional capacity and to produce high-quality research for sustainable solutions to solving the challenges within the region, has heightened the need to assess the key and long-term effects of centres achievements and activities. She provided insights to observations made during the verification of centres for the DLI 2 prior to the 7th regional workshop. She emphasized that some centres have well-established academic and industry connections; distinct research, innovation, and education policies; adaptable and flexible responses to the pandemic as well as excellent understanding of the added value and positioning in the international/ regional/national research landscape. She further added that using existing opportunities, the ACEs must fully engage their alumni and include grooming them to serve as ambassadors, future faculty, and collaborators. She encouraged centres to forge partnerships for collaborative efforts toward making effective impact.

Highlighting WACCBIP’s strategy for public and community engagement, Prof. Awandare explained that the centre prioritized the establishment of a communication and public engagement unit to facilitate research communication and interactions with the public and the media. He noted that the unit has been a major game-changer in enhancing the centre’s visibility. Some key activities have included communicating complex research outputs in simple and relatable language that is easily digestible by the public. In addition, the unit has been at the forefront of organizing fora, press engagements and community outreach programs aimed at publicizing the centre’s research outputs.

Speaking on impact, Prof. Ejiogu noted that ACE-SPED’s impact has focused on its immediate environment- the university. He emphasized the centre’s efforts to tackle power challenges at the University of Nsukka, Nigeria through extensive research and prudent measures. He added that the centre has leveraged partnerships with local power and energy companies to access internship opportunities for students. In terms of regional partnerships, ACE-SPED had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the West Africa Power Pool – a specialized agency of ECOWAS targeting the generation of a self-reliant regional power market which delivers abundant affordable electricity to all member states.

Prof. Mama emphasized C2EA’s partnerships with both the public and private sectors. He stated that the centre’s partnership with the Water Management Authority in Benin enables them to conduct research and share its findings to advise policymakers on water and sanitation.

Additionally, panel members also shared challenges faced by their centres in addressing developmental challenges. Key areas of concern were related to procurement delays, financial and administrative bureaucracies, lack of effective policies to facilitate scientific research and the timely acquisition of science equipment.

Centres were advised by Ms. De Ruiter to ensure that their activities are strategically executed to provide a sustainable long-term impact that transcends the academic community. In addition, centres were encouraged by the panel members to invest in high-quality staff, foster regional and international collaborations and empower young people in their teams as well as maximize the potential of their  strengths to achieve their goals.

In his closing remarks, the Chair entreated centres to put in place efficient measures for project sustainability beyond the World Bank funding.

 

Written By: Millicent Afriyie Kyei, ACE Impact Communications Officer

High Level 7th Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Regional Workshop kicks off at Palais des Congrès, Cotonou, Benin – Minister of Higher Education formally opens the workshop

A four-day higher education regional workshop, which brought together approximately 300 higher education stakeholders from Africa and beyond, was held in Cotonou, Benin. The workshop was hosted by the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project from 14 -17, June 2022.

In attendance were team members from the 53 centres of excellence from the 11 participating African Countries, Project teams from the World Bank, French Development Agency, and the Association of African Universities, Subject Matter Experts, Vice Chancellors, Students, Industry partners and other various higher education stakeholders.

The workshop created the dynamic platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and an opportunity for sharing global best practices, provision of implementation support and the discussion of practical mechanisms to ensure sustainability of the project beyond its stipulated lifespan. It also provided the chance for collaborative regional knowledge sharing on all the thematic subject areas of the project, as well as to assess the results from the project’s mid-term review process.

ACE Impact is a World Bank initiative in collaboration with governments of 11 participating African countries to support higher education institutions specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Environment, Agriculture, applied Social Sciences / Education and Health. It is widely recognised as a critical and important project which is improving the capacity of Africa’s higher education institutions.

The 7th ACE Impact workshop started on a high note with an opening ceremony which featured key remarks from the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities – Prof. Olusola Oyewole; the Cotonou Director of the French Development Agency, Mr. Jerome Bertrand-Hardy, and the World Bank Country Manager, Mr. Atou Seck.

Formally opening the workshop, the Minister of Education for Benin, Madame Eleonore Yayi Ladekan spoke highly about the importance of the ACE Impact project to Africa’s higher education system and recognised the efforts of the project team and all participating centres and countries.  She highlighted various reforms launched by the Republic of Benin aimed at impacting all stakeholders in the education pipeline – right from the learners/students to the national level and final beneficiaries.  She further underscored the quality of interventions and key activities under the project – including internships, training of students, and innovative research which she said are all important in facilitating knowledge generation and usage, as well as ensuring that excellence transcends the functions of Africa’s Higher Education institution.

The 7th ACE Impact workshop has a diverse agenda and focus areas to be discussed at plenary, breakout sessions and performance clinics. The event also featured a special poster presentation session which created the platform for students to present their innovative research to the African higher education stakeholders present at the workshop.  Prior to the Workshop, the project began hosting Country Round Table sessions, which presented the opportunity for country specific discussions related to the mid-term review process. Again, the Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting was held on 13th June 2022, also in Cotonou, Benin.  The PSC is a high-level policy making committee comprised of representatives of African government from the 11 participating countries, the World Bank, French Development Agency and the Association of African Universities.

A press conference was also hosted just before the opening ceremony on June 14, creating the platform for the media to engage the key project team on critical issues in Africa’s Higher Education, for the information of the wider African populace.

Discussions for the remaining three days (June 15-17, 2022) focused on forging the way forward in relation to specific project priority areas including – Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Gender and Development Impact among others.

 

Written By: Mrs. Felicia Kuagbedzi, Senior Communications Officer, AAU

PRESS RELEASE: 7th ACE Impact Regional Workshop to hold from June 13-17, 2022

For Immediate Release

PRESS RELEASE

53 Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Convene In-person for the First Time Post-Covid to Enhance the Drive toward Achieving Development Impact

7th ACE Impact Regional Workshop to hold from June 13-17, 2022

Accra, Ghana (May 27, 2022) – The 7th bi-annual meeting of the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) is scheduled to take place from 13th-17th June 2022 in Cotonou, Benin. Considering the impact and mobility restrictions posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACE Impact stakeholders are meeting for the first time in-person in two years (the last in-person meeting was held in February 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria).

The meeting which will make provision for virtual participation is bringing together leaders of the fifty-three (53) Centres of Excellence, government representatives from the 11 participating countries, key higher education stakeholders, policy think tanks, and partners such as the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Association of African Universities (AAU).

Committed to enhancing the capacity of universities to deliver high-quality training and applied research to address regional development challenges, the ACE Impact project is convening stakeholders to accelerate project implementation by measuring the impact accrued and exploring ways to address bottlenecks. With the project reaching its Mid-Term Review (MTR) in 2021, results of the MTR process will be evaluated during the upcoming workshop, with the teams finalizing recommendations and next steps. ACE Impact is being implemented over a five-year duration, 2019 -2024.

The workshop will further provide an opportunity for peer-learning and regional knowledge sharing among the centers and strengthen partnerships and networks to drive successful project implementation and sustainability. The meeting seeks to provide implementation support and share global best practices with centers on the project objectives, especially development impact, entrepreneurship and innovation, gender initiatives, digital transformation, and institutional impact activities.

In addition, selected students from the three centers in Benin will be given the opportunity to share their innovative research outputs during a poster exhibition on 14th June 2022 at the Palais des Congrès. The opening and closing sessions of the workshop will be held on 14th and 17th June, respectively, at 10:00 GMT+1.

The ACE Impact project remains committed to training and providing Africa with the needed skills in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); Agriculture, Environment, Applied Social Science, Education, and Health to realize its economic transformation.

– END –

Note to Editors

A press conference will be held virtually/in person on 14th June 2022 at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou. Benin To participate or for further information, kindly contact Millicent Afriyie via email makyei@aau.org.

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 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 Organizers
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 and boost shared prosperity. 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. If you need move out cleaning services, contact Dust and Mop from North Hills, Raleigh NC. 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 (AFD): 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 are now at the heart of its actions in education, health, employment, urban planning, climate or biodiversity

Digital Competencies are the Game Changer in Africa’s Higher Education

The Centres of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) Initiative is holding a capacity building workshop for experts in digital education, to build their capacities in the sustainable integration of digital tools and technologies in teaching and learning.

The event, holding from 9th – 12th May 2022 at the National Open University of Nigeria is jointly organized by the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), the Association of African Universities, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), EPFL, with financial support from the World Bank.  The opening ceremony was chaired by the Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, who encouraged the participants to forge collaborative networks through the gathering, and to leverage the opportunity presented by the initiative to contribute to the development of their national economies, and that of the continent as a whole.

Speaking on behalf of the AAU, Dr. Sylvia Mkandawire, the ACE Impact Project Manager, underscored the importance of the C-CoDE initiative for the project, stating that it emerged as a COVID-19 response, to support institutions effectively deliver on their core targets. She extended the AAU’s appreciation to the Vice Chancellors and management of host institutions of the C-CoDE initiative and generally, the ACE-Impact Project, for their continuous support.

C-CoDE is an initiative being implemented under the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project with the objective of strengthening the techno-pedagogical skills of lecturers by promoting the use of innovative digital technologies in educational practices. Ultimately, the sustainable integration of digital education in African universities, is seen as a means to strengthen the quality of teaching as well as the competencies of graduates.

The ongoing training forms part of a series of trainings which commenced in September 2021 for the six (6) universities which are part of this initiative, namely –   1) National Open University of Nigeria 2) University of Nigeria, Nsukka 3) Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria 4) University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana, 5) Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and 6) Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Bénin.

The previous online trainings have comprehensively taken participants through the broad topics of Course Design, Educational Resources, Development and Implementation, while the ongoing face to face training is focusing on Delivery and Evaluation.

It is expected that the involved universities would eventually serve other African institutions using a training-the-trainers model, within the broader ACE Impact project portfolio and across the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

The fourth (4th) training workshop of experts in digital education which is underway, features 40 participants and is being facilitated by the EPFL, represented by Dr Lisa Danielle Myers, and Ms. Virginie Torrens who are both digital education experts. The key training content/areas include online teaching (i.e. the actual delivery of an online course to students), course evaluation,  applying interactive teaching strategies to facilitate active learning, preparing students to learn online and analysing how to select and train facilitators, among others.

Through this training of digital experts and more broadly the C-CoDE initiative, our Centre and the host University will be more equipped to deliver sound pedagogical learning resources that will improve teaching and learning in the post Covid-era” said Prof. Grace Jokthan, Centre Leader for the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning.

Another key event holding immediately after the ongoing workshop is the ACE Impact Regional Digital Education Conference scheduled for 12th – 13th May 2022.

Participating in this conference are stakeholders from African higher education, Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence, the National Universities Commission of Nigeria, industry players, government officials, representatives from AAU and EPFL and the C-CoDE participating centres. The C-CoDE participating centres are 1)  the African Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced learning (ACETEL), 2) the African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Policy (ACE-SPED), 3) the African Centre of Excellence in Population Health and Policy (ACEPHAP), 4) the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), 5) the Regional Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (RCEES), 6) the Regional Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (CEFORGRIS) and 7) the African Centre of Excellence in Science, Mathematics, Computer Science and Applications (CEA-SMIA).

Stakeholders are encouraged to register via this link- https://forms.gle/SfoyfPix1MonBz2M8 and participate in this important conference.

WAGMC Launches Maiden MSc Genetic Counselling Programme in Sub-Saharan Africa

WAGMC Launches Maiden MSc Genetic Counselling Programme in Sub-Saharan Africa

The West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC), University of Ghana welcomed the first cohort of students into its new flagship Master of Science (MSc) degree programme in January 2022. The postgraduate genetic counselling programme is the first of its kind in Ghana and in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the third of such programme on the continent. The programme is accredited by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC). Students who graduate from the programme will be required to complete a mandatory one-year internship under the supervision of the Ghana Psychology Council to become licensed to practice as Genetic Counsellors.

 


Professor Solomon Ofori-Acquah (WAGMC Centre Leader) with Dr. Judith Osae-Larbi and Dr. Dorcas Annan(WAGMC Research Fellows) with some WAGMC Genetic Counselling Students.

The MSc Genetic Counselling programme is a professional health degree programme. It is designed to combine critical skills-training and rigorous independent research, to prepare students for the dynamic field of genetic counselling. It explores both the theoretical and practical aspects of genetic counselling while developing skills in research, teaching, public education, critical thinking, and health leadership. The programme will equip students with current knowledge in human genomics, genetics, genetic analysis and bioinformatics, as well as the relevant communication, counselling, and psychological skills they need to succeed and adapt to advances in genomic medicine. WAGMC worked with several collaborators and partner institutions in South Africa, USA and UK to develop the maiden genetics educational programme. These partnerships offer students exciting internship opportunities across the genomic medicine spectrum all over the world.

 

Pre-Call for Applications for Additional Financing under the African higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE II AF)

In collaboration with the Governments of Ghana, Malawi, and Mozambique, the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) and Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) are jointly launching a Call for Proposals under the Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project (ACE II). This initiative is proposed to be financed through Additional Financing to ACE II to be reviewed by the World Bank Group (WBG) Board in May 2022 (tentative). The main objective of the proposed project is to strengthen linkages between universities in participating countries and regional agricultural sector needs through strengthening (i) agri-food related education and training enhanced with trans-disciplinary approaches and applied research; (ii) university linkages to the regional agricultural sector – its priorities, needs and stakeholders; and (iii) university partnership with private and public entities related to agri-food both within and outside the region.

The ACE II AF is a result of broad consultations with the governments of Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique; and IUCEA and RUFORUM. Six key regional gap areas have been identified and prioritized for this Project: (i) agribusiness and entrepreneurship; (ii) agri-food systems and nutrition; (iii) agricultural policy analysis; (iv) agricultural risk management and climate change; (v) rural innovations and agricultural extension; and (vi) statistical analysis, forecast and data management. The Project will support the governments of the three participating countries to collectively address challenges in the aforementioned key gap areas by (a) selecting African Centers of Excellence (ACE) through a competitive and transparent process from existing higher education institutions which have certain capacity for research and training in agriculture; (b) strengthening selected universities through professionalizing leadership and management, streamlining administration and capacitating faculty to produce excellent training and applied research which can meet the needs of highly-skilled personnel and knowledge transfer for the agri-food sector; (c) building networks among these institutions to promote regional collaboration, foster partnerships with other institutions including industries for  training and applied research to produce innovative solutions for real development impact; and (d) developing a culture of results-orientation and accountability in institutional management through a performance-based financing mechanism. As a regional project, ACE II AF will be governed by its Regional Steering Committee (RSC) and facilitated by its Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU).

 

The submitted proposals will be evaluated by an Independent Evaluation Committee and the RSC will make the final selection decision. Interested institutions should meet all the following eligibility criteria: (i) be from the participating countries; (ii) offer PhD program(s) or demonstrate readiness to offer a PhD program; and (iii) have programs in at least two disciplinary areas related to one of the regional gap areas.

Proposals are expected to encompass the following elements: Enhancing capacity to deliver regional high quality training in agriculture to address challenge(s) in at least two key gap areas; a) enhancing capacity in addressing emerging challenges such as COVID-19 b) enhancing capacity to deliver applied research to address the challenge(s); c) the strength of the partnership (national and international) and capacity to build networks and offer capacity development for TVET and other Higher Education Institutions; d) building and strengthening national, regional and inter-regional academic collaboration to raise the quality of higher agriculture education and training; e) partnerships with relevant agro-based institutions that deal with processing,  storage and distribution of agricultural produce f) building and using industry/sector partnerships to enhance the impact of the project on development, and increase the relevance of these centers of education and research; g) enhancing governance and management of the ACE and the participating universities to improve monitoring and evaluation; and h) demonstrated evidence of the applicant university engagement as well as its willingness to take a leadership role in agriculture transformation in the target country.

Higher education institutions from the Republics of Malawi, Mozambique and Ghana interested to participate in the program are requested to submit their Expression of Interest through https://bit.ly/ACEIIExpression not later than 31st January 2022. The development of final proposals will be undertaken with support from RUFORUM and IUCEA.  The governments in collaboration with the World Bank, may offer additional technical support to institutions to develop strong proposals.

The submitted proposals will be competitively evaluated by an Independent Evaluation Committee. However, the Regional Steering Committee will make the final selection decision for successful proposals.

For further information contact the Dr. Jonathan Stephen Mbwambo, email: jmbwambo@iucea.org or Prof. Majaliwa Mwanjalolo, email: m.majaliwa@ruforum.org

Vacancy for Industry Liaison Officer

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

INDUSTRY LIAISON OFFICER

(CONSULTING SERVICES – INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT SELECTION)

 

Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) (P164546)

 

Consultancy Services for the engagement of Industry Liaison Officer at the Regional Facilitation Unit of the Association of African Universities.

 

The Association of African Universities has received financing from the World Bank toward the cost of the First Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact Projects (ACE Impact 1) and intends to apply part of the proceeds for consulting services for the recruitment of an Industry Liaison Officer.

 

The detailed Terms of Reference (TOR) for the assignment can be found at the following link: ToR_ScopeofServices_IndustrialLiasionOffice or can be obtained at the email address given below.

 

The Association of African Universities now invites eligible individuals (“Consultants”) to indicate their interest in providing the above Services.

 

Competency and Expertise

Interested Consultants should provide information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to perform the Services. The shortlisting criteria are available in the Terms of Reference under Qualifications and Experience.

 

The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to Section III, paragraphs, 3.14, 3.16, and 3.17 of the World Bank’s “Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers” July 2016 and revised in November 2017, and August 2018 (“Procurement Regulations”), setting forth the World Bank’s policy on conflict of interest available on this link http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/178331533065871195/Procurement-Regulations.pdf .

 

A consultant will be selected will be selected in accordance with the Individual Consultant Selection method set out in the World Bank’s “Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers” July 2016 and revised in November 2017, and August 2018 (“Procurement Regulations”). Further information can be obtained at the address below during office hours 0900 to 1700 hours.

 

Expression of Interest. Interested individual Consultants complete the online application at the Industry Liaison Officer Job at Association of African Universities in Accra, Ghana | africa.edujobs.com Expressions of interest must be received by close of day Friday 30th September 2022. Clarifications may be requested per email to smkandawire@aau.org.

 

Admission to ACETEL

Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Leaming (ACETEL) is a World Bank, Association of African Universities, and Nigeria’s Nanonal Universities Commission supported centre of excellence focusing on the development of human capacity and research in solutions that will lead to the utilisation of technology for education. Domiciled at the headquarters of the National Open University of Nigeria, Jabi, Abuja, the Centre team comprises Of national and international scholars drawn from relevant fields Of science as well as and private sector stakeholders.

Application forms for 2021/2022 Academic Session are available at https://acetel.nou.edu.ng/ from 1st to 15th December 2021 in the following programmes:

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

ACETEL is therefore, requesting interested and suitably qualified candidates to apply for admission into any of the above indicated postgraduate programmes. Application forms and requirements are available at www.acetel.nou.edu.ng. Interested candidates should follow the online application procedure laid down via the ACETEL Website https://acetel.nou.edu.ng/. While ACETEL offers equal opportunity for enrolment and studies to all, female members of the society are specially encouraged to apply. Scholarship is also available for eligible candidates.

APPLICATION FEE

  • MSc = N20,OOO
  • PhD = N30,OOO

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