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

The 6th ACE Impact Regional Workshop Ends Successfully

The 6th ACE Impact Regional Workshop Ends Successfully

The 6th biannual Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Regional Workshop was held virtually from November 8- 10, 2021, bringing together over 300 participants from the fifty-three (53) Centres of Excellence, government representatives from participating countries, Vice-Chancellors, representatives from the higher education sector, the private sector, policy think tanks, and partners such as the World Bank, the French Development Agency, and the Association of African Universities, as well as other key stakeholders. 

Prior to the workshop, a ministerial level steering committee was held to assess the project at mid-term and discuss sustaining the project beyond the World Bank funding. 

The workshop sought to strengthen the capacity of the African Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE Impact centres) by highlighting the key achievements of the various centres and also addressing the challenges faced as the project approaches its mid-term. The subject matter experts among other key speakers discussed measures to enhance project implementation. Some of the topics covered include: Addressing the Bottlenecks, Effective Procurement Management, Disbursement Linked Indicators Assessment, Funds Disbursement and Funds Utilization, Communications within the ACE Impact Project, ACE Impact Verification, Disbursement Linked Indicator (DLI) 2 which highlights Development Impact, and Disbursement Linked Results 5.3 which also focuses on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Day One Coverage- AAU TV Live Coverage:  2021 ACE Impact Regional Workshop  

 Closing Ceremony – https://youtu.be/Qme3IFf81Ak   

The C-CoDE Initiative kicks off to build competencies in digital education

In September 2021, the Association of African Universities under the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project in collaboration with the EPFL – École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) commenced the implementation of the Centers of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) Initiative.

Six (6) ACE Impact host Universities were competitively selected and are being supported to establish Centers of Competence in Digital Education on their campuses to promote the sustainable integration of digital education in the teaching processes, as a means of strengthening the quality of teaching as well as the competencies of graduates.

A total of 12 applications were received from six different countries: eight from anglophone and four from francophone universities. The six selected universities are the National Open University of Nigeria; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria; University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana; Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Bénin.

The participating ACE Centers in these universities include the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Energy Development (ACE-SPED), the Africa Center of Excellence in Population Health and Policy(ACEPHAP); the Center for Dryland Agriculture(CDA), the Regional Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (RCEES); CEA-Centre d’Etudes, de Formation et de Recherche en Gestion des Risques Sociaux (CEFORGRIS) and CEA-SMIA (Centre d’Excellence Africain en Sciences, Mathématiques, Informatique et Application.

This pilot initiative will provide the participating institutions with the training and coaching to transform their educational curricula by integrating modern digital education methods. Each selected University will commit part of their funding from their ACE Impact project (s) towards acquisition of the necessary equipment and a venue to house their C-CoDE. Thirty (30) faculty, three (3) pedagogy engineers and two (2) technical specialists have been identified from each participating university and are being trained. This pilot is being implemented from September 2021 to July 2022.

The broader goal is for the selected Centers to eventually serve other African higher education institutions using a training-the-trainers model, within the broader ACE Impact project portfolio and beyond – across the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

On September 21 and 22, the participating universities were engaged in meetings to provide additional information and to launch the operational aspects of the project. Each participating university has identified and confirmed three faculty members that are being trained as experts in digital education. The selected trainees were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Open edX training platform and training materials during the preparation week.

The first workshop for the anglophone participants took place from 4-15 October 2021. The first workshop for the francophone participants is going on from 18-29 October 2021.

Training is innovatively delivered using the flipped classroom style. The quality and engaging learning materials and activities were prepared in advance and made available on the EPFL Open edX platform. The participants study and prepare themselves ahead of the live sessions. During the virtual live sessions, the facilitators provide clarifications concerning the content and learning activities that participants would have gone through. Live sessions are used to building and sharing common knowledge through group activities, live discussions, and presentations. Participants are also exposed to and encouraged to use a variety of online tools and technologies to interact and put in practice teaching paradigms.

 

Contact Information

For further information, kindly contact Dr Sylvia Mkandawire via smkandawire@aau.org and copy Mr Yann Kerloch yann.kerloch@epfl.ch

 

Background information

The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project is a World Bank initiative in collaboration with governments of participating countries to support Higher Education institutions in specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Agriculture, and Health. The Project aims to promote regional specialization among participating universities in areas that address specific common regional development challenges. It also strengthens 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. 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.

 

About the Association of African Universities (AAU)

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

 

About the World Bank Group

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

About EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)

EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university with students, professors, and staff from over 120 nations. Founded in 1853, the École Spéciale de Lausanne was renamed École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in 1969. EPFL is a research-intensive institution specializing in Science, Technology and Engineering with a strong focus on Life Science and Digital Sciences. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer. EPFL is a bilingual Technological University (French-English) located on the shores of Lake of Geneva in Lausanne (Switzerland). EPFL works together with an extensive network of partners including other universities and institutes of technology, secondary schools and colleges, industry and economy, political circles and the general public, to bring about real impact for society.

 

 

 

C-CoDE Press Release

For immediate release 9th July 2021

AAU and EPFL launch the Centers of Competence in Digital Education Initiative

Accra, Ghana, 9th July 2021 – The Association of African Universities under the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project in collaboration with the EPFL – École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) have launched the Centers of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) Initiative. The AAU as the regional facilitating unit of the ACE Impact Project is using a portion of its World Bank regional International Development Association (IDA) grant to fund the activities of this initiative. EPFL, a World Class University of Technology in Switzerland, is also a leader in digital education.

Six (6) ACE Impact host Universities will be competitively selected and supported to strengthen themselves and establish Centers of Competence in Digital Education on their campuses to promote the sustainable integration of digital education in the teaching processes, as a means of strengthening the quality of teaching as well as the competencies of graduates. The pilot initiative will provide the participating institutions with the necessary training and coaching to transform their educational curricula by integrating modern digital education methods. Each selected University will commit some funding from their ACE Impact project (s) towards acquisition of the necessary equipment and venue to house their C-CoDE. 30 faculty, 3 pedagogy engineers and 2 technical specialists will be trained in each Center by the end of the project. The pilot will be implemented from September 2021 to July 2022.

Selected Centers will contribute to the design, production and dissemination of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Educational Resources (OER). The broader goal is for the selected Centers to eventually serve other African institutions using a training-the-trainers model, within the broader ACE Impact project portfolio and beyond – across the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

Note to Editors

For further information, kindly contact Dr Sylvia Mkandawire via smkandawire@aau.org and copy Mr Yann Kerloch yann.kerloch@epfl.ch

Background information

The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project is a World Bank initiative in collaboration with governments of participating countries to support Higher Education institutions in specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Agriculture, and Health. The Project aims to promote regional specialization among participating universities in areas that address specific common regional development challenges. It also strengthens 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. 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 l); 5 Emerging Centers;l “top up” center in Social Risk Management; and 5 Colleges and Schools of Engineering.

About the Association of African Universities (AAU)

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

About the World Bank Group

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

About the French Development Agency

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

About EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne)

About EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne). EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university with students, professors, and staff from over 120 nations. Founded in 1853, the École Spéciale de Lausanne was renamed École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in 1969. EPFL is a research-intensive institution specializing in Science, Technology and Engineering with a strong focus on Life Science and Digital Sciences. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer. EPFL is a bilingual Technological University (French-English) located on the shores of Lake of Geneva in Lausanne (Switzerland). EPFL works together with an extensive network of partners including other universities and institutes of technology, secondary schools and colleges, industry and economy, political circles and the general public, to bring about real impact for society.

Leveraging blockchain to create learning and employment pathways for African Youth: Regional Digital Skills Project launches Recruitment Dashboard

A new and impactful online platform has launched to equip young African students with a repository to digitally house their credentials whilst directly connecting them to potential employers. The recruitment dashboard piloted under the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Digital Skills Pilot Initiative provides a single platform for students/graduates and companies to match more efficiently, addressing the challenges of university- to-work transitions and improving recruitment practices in Africa.

 

A first of its kind in Africa, this collaboration between the World Bank, the German Development Cooperation represented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Digital Skills Accelerator Africa (DSAA) merges public and private sector engagement in a unique way, addressing Africa’s most pertinent issues, youth skills mismatch and youth unemployment. Through the ACE projects, the World Bank is providing funding to African universities to train their future workforce, whilst GIZ and DSAA connect international and African companies to training and hiring talented African students.

 

The recruitment dashboard is being piloted in two ACE universities, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana and Moi University in Kenya, with just under 200 undergraduate engineering and computer science students who have collectively completed more than 110 courses, receiving a total of 9,500 blockchain certificates through the platform. It allows students and recent graduates to create personalised profiles and upload their credentials online, that are fully accessible to multiple employers, thus significantly cutting down recruitment time and costs. IBM and FutureLearn provide access to over 150 free accredited courses to help students bridge the identified digital skills gap.

 

Allowing for a seamless connection to recruiters, the dashboard provides a single space for companies to search and directly email potential recruits. “We have partnered with VerifyEd, a UK-based company, on this innovative platform to give recruiters easy access to a large pool of qualified and skilled potential workforce, whilst increasing student’s online visibility, giving them a competitive advantage”, says Halil Dundar, Practice Manager, Education Global Practice at the World Bank. This investment has a great potential and supports Africa’s jobs and economic transformation agenda”.

 

In the context of Invest for Jobs of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ mobilises international and African companies through DSAA initiative. DSAA is an independent organisation focused on training highly skilled digital workforce talent in Africa, creating business opportunities for companies and individuals. Two member companies of DSAA, AmaliTech and getINNOtized, each with 300 vacancies in the 2021 calendar year, are participating in the recruitment dashboard pilot, providing a wide array of core digital skills- related job opportunities (both in-person and remote work) for the students.

 

We believe the ACE Recruitment Dashboard will augment our recruitment strategies to target graduates with IT, Computer Science, and Engineering backgrounds to join our AmaliTech Training Academy. This will enrich our pool of graduate recruits for free professional IT/digital skills training for employment pathways in the tech ecosystem.” Richard Botchway, AmaliTech’s HR Specialist (Diversity & Inclusion) says.

 

The platforms filter functionality has been popular amongst recruiters. For Gideon Sackey, Dean of Students, getINNOtized: “Identifying the right candidate for the right job is always a hurdle for recruiters. This process is made simpler and efficient by the platform. The filtering features on the platform enable us to filter by skill, certifications, etc, saving time in our candidate selection process”.

A new and impactful online platform has launched to equip young African students with a repository to digitally house their credentials whilst directly connecting them to potential employers. The recruitment dashboard piloted under the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Digital Skills Pilot Initiative provides a single platform for students/graduates and companies to match more efficiently, addressing the challenges of university- to-work transitions and improving recruitment practices in Africa. A first of its kind in Africa, this collaboration between the World Bank, the German Development Cooperation represented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Digital Skills Accelerator Africa (DSAA) merges public and private sector engagement in a unique way, addressing Africa’s most pertinent issues, youth skills mismatch and youth unemployment. Through the ACE projects, the World Bank is providing funding to African universities to train their future workforce, whilst GIZ and DSAA connect international and African companies to training and hiring talented African students. The recruitment dashboard is being piloted in two ACE universities, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana and Moi University in Kenya, with just under 200 undergraduate engineering and computer science students who have collectively completed more than 110 courses, receiving a total of 9,500 blockchain certificates through the platform. It allows students and recent graduates to create personalised profiles and upload their credentials online, that are fully accessible to multiple employers, thus significantly cutting down recruitment time and costs. IBM and FutureLearn provide access to over 150 free accredited courses to help students bridge the identified digital skills gap. Allowing for a seamless connection to recruiters, the dashboard provides a single space for companies to search and directly email potential recruits. “We have partnered with VerifyEd, a UK-based company, on this innovative platform to give recruiters easy access to a large pool of qualified and skilled potential workforce, whilst increasing student’s online visibility, giving them a competitive advantage”, says Halil Dundar, Practice Manager, Education Global Practice at the World Bank. “This investment has a great potential and supports Africa’s jobs and economic transformation agenda”. In the context of Invest for Jobs of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ mobilises international and African companies through DSAA initiative. DSAA is an independent organisation focused on training highly skilled digital workforce talent in Africa, creating business opportunities for companies and individuals. Two member companies of DSAA, AmaliTech and getINNOtized, each with 300 vacancies in the 2021 calendar year, are participating in the recruitment dashboard pilot, providing a wide array of core digital skills- related job opportunities (both in-person and remote work) for the students. “We believe the ACE Recruitment Dashboard will augment our recruitment strategies to target graduates with IT, Computer Science, and Engineering backgrounds to join our AmaliTech Training Academy. This will enrich our pool of graduate recruits for free professional IT/digital skills training for employment pathways in the tech ecosystem.” Richard Botchway, AmaliTech’s HR Specialist (Diversity & Inclusion) says. The platforms filter functionality has been popular amongst recruiters. For Gideon Sackey, Dean of Students, getINNOtized: “Identifying the right candidate for the right job is always a hurdle for recruiters. This process is made simpler and efficient by the platform. The filtering features on the platform enable us to filter by skill, certifications, etc, saving time in our candidate selection process”. Jerry Kponyo, the Dean of Faculty at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, one of the pilot universities, sees great potential and success of the recruitment dashboard: “Where recruiters are able to have access to such critical information [verified credentials], the students seeking employment would not have to struggle to communicate what they are capable of. The displayed certifications are self-advertising.” The World Bank, GIZ, DSAA and the various partners hope this initiative opens the doors for innovative use of blockchain technology in education on the continent; promotes a strong culture of micro-credentialing; creates an ecosystem promoting job opportunities for the African youth, as well as continued private and public collaboration. The results of the pilot are highly anticipated and will be key to the evolution of blockchain technology for the development of the African continent. About Invest for Jobs DSAA is supported by German Development Cooperation in the context of Invest for Jobs. Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to team up with companies to create good jobs and apprenticeships in the partner countries, of which there are currently eight, and to preserve them during the Covid-19 pandemic. Further information is available at www.invest-for-jobs.com About Africa Centers of Excellence Program The Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) program is a series of regional higher education projects that aim to improve education, training and applied research at the post-graduate level in key priority fields, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), agriculture, health, industry and related fields. The World Bank is supporting the overall ACE Digital Skills Pilot Initiative (launched in 2020) through a trust fund, the Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility. Further information is available at www.ace.aau.org

Jerry Kponyo, the Dean of Faculty at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, one of the pilot universities, sees great potential and success of the recruitment dashboard: “Where recruiters are able to have access to such critical information [verified credentials], the students seeking employment would not have to struggle to communicate what they are capable of. The displayed certifications are self-advertising.”

 

The World Bank, GIZ, DSAA and the various partners hope this initiative opens the doors for innovative use of blockchain technology in education on the continent; promotes a strong culture of micro-credentialing; creates an ecosystem promoting job opportunities for the African youth, as well as continued private and public collaboration. The results of the pilot are highly anticipated and will be key to the evolution of blockchain technology for the development of the African continent.

 

About Invest for Jobs

DSAA is supported by German Development Cooperation in the context of Invest for Jobs. Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to team up with companies to create good jobs and apprenticeships in the partner countries, of which there are currently eight, and to preserve them during the Covid-19 pandemic. Further information is available at www.invest-for-jobs.com  

 

About Africa Centers of Excellence Program

The Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) program is a series of regional higher education projects that aim to improve education, training and applied research at the post-graduate level in key priority fields, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), agriculture, health, industry and related fields. The World Bank is supporting the overall ACE Digital Skills Pilot Initiative (launched in 2020) through a trust fund, the Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility. Further information is available at www.ace.aau.org

Call for Proposals for the Unit of Competence in Digital Education (U-CoDE) Initiative

Objectives and Action Plan

The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Projects in collaboration with the EPFL – École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) are launching the Call for Proposals for the Center of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) Initiative (Deadline for submission of proposals 25 June 2021). This Pilot initiative aims to promote the sustainable integration of digital education in the teaching process in selected ACE Impact host universities, as a means to strengthen the quality of teaching as well as the competencies of graduates.

The participating institutions will be provided with the necessary training and coaching to transform their educational curricula by integrating modern digital education methods. As a Pilot, the initiative will launch in six (6) ACE Impact host institutions in 2021. The key element at each institution will be the creation and the development of a C-CoDE (see the attached Powerpoint for further details on the initiative).

By encouraging the use of innovative digital technologies in educational practices, the aim is to strengthen the techno-pedagogical skills of lecturers and to train them in the production of digital content and its use in university courses.

The initiative will proceed in two steps, to:

  1. Enable the participating university to acquire the necessary skills, infrastructure, capacity and quality standards to operate a C-CoDE serving the institution. Such a Center will contribute to the design, production and dissemination of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Educational Resources (OER). The faculty of the institution will also be trained in the integration of ICT-enabled teaching methods.
  2. Extend the Center’s sphere of activity to serve other African institutions (using a training-the-trainers model), for example within the broader ACE Impact project portfolio and beyond – across the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

AAU, as the regional facilitation unit, through its grant under ACE Impact is bearing the delivery, coaching and out-of pocket costs of the experts providing the training to the more than 200 participants from the 6 ACE Impact host institutions for the entire pilot period. EPFL, through its Center of Excellence in Africa (EXAF), is providing the content and training methodology.

For this initiative to have long-term institutional impact and to be transformative, the institutions participating in the Pilot, will commit to:

  • Deploy digital education capabilities in its institution (a C-CoDE) and integrate the use of the resources produced by the C-CoDE in their educational programmes
  • Encourage the pooling and sharing of digital educational resources – at the institution, within the ACE Impact project portfolio, and across the SSA region and beyond
  • Boost the development of new teaching practices by motivating and supporting the lecturers engaged in this initiative, at first within the participating institution and then more broadly.
  • The following additional conditions:
  • Appoint a C-CoDE Project Leader, an Academic Coordinator and a Technical Coordinator (see the Local Coordination Team template for a description of the profile of each of these appointees)
  • Appoint 1 Techno-pedagogical Engineer to serve as the point of reference for digital education projects
  • Appoint 2 Technicians – one specialized in multimedia acquisition and post-production, and one specialized in IT and LMS
  • Nominate 3 Techno-pedagogical Specialists – faculty members who will receive extensive training as part of the initiative and will support subsequent training activities on campus
  • Nominate 30 faculty members who will participate in the training and appoint 3 of them who will be trained to coach their peers (15% of their time)
  • Building space to install the C-CoDE (min. 100m2)
  • Financial investment of approximately $100,000 to cover travel; accommodation; multimedia and IT equipment; refurbishment and adaptation of premises to install the C-CoDE

Please note that beyond a strong commitment from the university management and a strong technical proposal, preference will be given to universities that prioritize female and junior faculty members when nominating the 30 faculty members to be trained. The performance of the related Centers within the ACE Impact Project will also be highly considered.

 

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