African Ministers of Higher Education and Key Stakeholders Meet in Banjul for the 8th Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Regional Workshop

PRESS RELEASE

 

African Ministers of Higher Education and Key Stakeholders Meet in Banjul for the 8th Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Regional Workshop

Accra, Ghana (November 8, 2022) – Stakeholders of the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) project will be convening in Banjul, The Gambia, for the 8th bi-annual meeting to be held from 14th-17th November 2022. The meeting will bring together Ministers of Higher Education and project government representatives from the 11 participating African countries, the leaders of the fifty-three (53) Centers of Excellence, subject matter experts, 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).

The workshop fosters an environment of knowledge sharing and networking between the centers and relevant agencies, providing in-person collaborative opportunities for the exchange of regional knowledge. The necessary tools and guidelines to facilitate effective project implementation and sustainability are shared with all centers, strengthening partnerships and networks whilst ensuring quality standards are maintained. 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 line with students’ participation in this high-level meeting, winners of the maiden edition of the Student Innovation Research Award (SIRA) will be recognized. At least the best 15 ACE Impact students competitively selected for the SIRA will be awarded during the closing ceremony for outstanding competitive projects that offer solutions and innovative ideas in transformative research and interdisciplinary collaborations. Furthermore, students from the University of Applied Science, Engineering, and Technology (USET) in The Gambia will be given the opportunity to share their innovative research outputs through a poster exhibition to be held on November 15, 2022.

All activities, including the Opening and Closing ceremonies will be held (or hosted) at the OIC Conference Centre in Banjul, The Gambia. Virtual participation is available for stakeholders that may want to join online. The opening and closing sessions of the workshop will be held on the 15th and 18th of November, respectively, at 8:00 GMT. The special guest-of-honor for the opening session is His Excellency Adama Barrow, the President of the Republic of The Gambia.

The workshop will be preceded by a closed-door Ministerial/Steering Committee meeting on 14th November 2022. The Ministers of Higher Education and project government representatives from the 11 participating countries together with key partners will take stock of the progress made thus far and make recommendations towards the sustainability of the project.

The ACE Impact project remains committed to training the next generation of experts in priority areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); Agriculture, Environment, Applied Social Science, Education, and Health with the aim of promoting sustainable growth and development in Africa.

 

Please visit the event website for details of the meeting Agenda among other relevant information.

– END –

 

For further information, contact

The World Bank: Hadijja Jawara, hjawara1@worldbank.org

The AAU: Millicent Kyei, makyei@aau.org

The Gambia: Maya Faal, mayafaal10@gmail.com

 

Background Information

The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) 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, Health, Environment and Social Science/Applied Science and Education. It is the first World Bank project aimed at building the capacities of higher education institutions in Africa through the promotion of regional specialization among participating universities in areas that address specific common regional development challenges. It further 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 first phase (ACE I) was launched in 2014 with 22 Centers of Excellence in Nine (9) West and Central African countries; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. 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 2019 to further strengthen post-graduate training and applied research in existing fields and support new fields that are essential for Africa’s economic growth. Under ACE Impact, there are 53 ACEs specializing in the broad thematic areas of STEM, agriculture, health, environment and social/applied science and education. For more information on the ACE Impact Project, visit https://ace.aau.org

 

About the Organizers

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 Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact project.

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 Centers of Excellence series of projects. The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, 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 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa.

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, and biodiversity. The French Development Agency (AFD) is the ACE Impact project co-financier.

PRESS RELEASE: ACE Impact Launches its First Students Innovation Research Awards (SIRA)

For Immediate Release

Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) to Reward Quality, Applied Research and Innovation
ACE Impact Launches its First Students Innovation Research Awards (SIRA)

Accra, Ghana, September 15, 2022. The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) project is announcing a call for applicants for its first Students Innovative Research Awards (SIRA). SIRA recognizes and promotes excellent research and innovation which responds to Africa’s developmental challenges. Established by the Regional Facilitation Unit for ACE Impact, the Association of African Universities (AAU), with support from the World Bank, SIRA deepen the project’s commitment to advancing the production of innovative and impactful knowledge

The ACE Impact project aims to advance the quality, quantity, and access to post-graduate education within the region.

Through this award scheme, the project will recognise exceptional research with both scientific and societal value undertaken by students from the 53 African Centres of Excellence. The practical and long-term impact of the research conducted is essential to the region’s most critical priority areas. Students are at the heart of this project. As primary ambassadors, SIRA targets students to boost their interest in implementing the skills and knowledge acquired to drive national and regional development and growth. Submissions are accepted under the following thematic areas; health, power generation, and transmission, renewable energy, mining and extractives, sustainable urban planning and transport, sustainable agriculture, environmental sciences, education, and information
and communication technology (ICT). For each thematic area, three awards (1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place) will be presented.

Industry and development partners with an aligned vision to support and improve the next generation of Africa’s highly skilled workforce through mentorship, hands-on training, and funding, among other kinds of support, are invited to collaborate on the SIRA initiative.

Application Details: Only students enrolled in the 53 centres of excellence under the ACE Impact Project are qualified to make a submission under this award. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit https://sira.ace.aau.org/ for further information.

Application Deadline: 30th September 2022

Contact

For further enquiries related to the Awards, please contact:

  • Mr. Schneineda Ankomah via email skankomah@aau.org
  • Mr. Enoch Kpani via email tekpani@aau.org

For Enquiries by the Media, please contact:

  • Mrs. Millicent Afriyie via email makyei@aau.org

For Partnership related information, please contact:

  • Dr. Sylvia Mkandawire vía email smkandawire@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. Environment, and Social/Applied Science and Education. It is the first World Bank project aimed at the capacity building of higher education institutions in Africa.

The project promotes increased specialization among participating universities, focusing on addressing specific common regional development challenges. It aims to strengthen the capacities of these universities to deliver high-quality training and applied research, closing the skills gap, and meeting the demand required for for Africa’s development. 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 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 Group and the French Development Agency (AFD) in collaboration with the African governments, launched the ACE Impact Project in 2019 to further strengthen post-graduate training and applied research in existing fields and support new fields that are essential for Africa’s economic growth. There are 53 ACEs specializing in the broad thematic areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Agriculture, Health, Environment, and Social/Applied Science and Education with a priority focus in 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; pastoral production; entrepreneurship and innovation, among others.

Since its inception, more than 22,000 students have been enrolled under the ACE Impact project. This includes almost 3,000 PhD students, close to 10,000 MSc students, and over 10,000 students enrolled in professional short courses. As a regional initiative, student enrolment extends beyond the participating countries to other African countries including Burundi, and Gabon, among others. In line training and research global standards, the majority of programmed rolled out by the centres are internationally accredited and centres are provided with enabling teaching, learning, and research environment and facilities, including state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories.

For more information on the ACE Impact Project, visit https://ace.aau.org

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 and collaboration amongst the universities, whilst simultaneously building a bridge to the international academic community. Created in 1967, the AAU is the voice of higher education in Africa. AAU aims to improve the quality of African higher education and strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development. Through supporting core functions of higher education institutions, AAU facilitates 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. 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

ACE Impact Stakeholders Interact with the Press on Project Implementation

As part of the 7th ACE Impact Regional Workshop, members of the media were given an opportunity to interact with the project stakeholders in a Press briefing held on 14th June 2022 at Palais de Congres, Contonou in Benin. Present were the Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Professor Olusola B. Oyewole, the ACE Impact Task Team Leader and Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank, Dr. Ekua Bentil, and the Centre Leaders from Benin, the host country of the 7th ACE Impact Workshop. These were – Professor Daouda Mama of the Water and Sanitation Centre and Prof. Guy Alitonou of the University of Abomey Calavi’s College of Engineering.

During the briefing, Professor Oyewole highlighted some successes achieved by the project since its inception. He mentioned that the Project’s Development Objective is to improve the quality, quantity, and development impact of postgraduate education in participating universities through regional specialization and collaboration. “ACE Impact is strengthening key thematic areas that address regional challenges, and concurrently improving the capacities of universities to deliver quality training and applied research”, said Prof. Oyewole.  He further noted that 22, 161 students are currently enrolled in the various centres of excellence, undertaking programmes in the different thematic areas of the project. It was added, that out of this number, 2,853 are PhD students, 9,097 are MSc students, and 10, 211 are enrolled in Professional Short Courses. Prof. Oyewole further indicated that Over 7,214 of the students enrolled are females and this represents 33 percent of the overall student population. Additionally, the project had created internship opportunities for 4,766 students to gain practical sector-based skills and expertise. “To boost innovativeness, proffer solutions for solving the continent’s challenges, and contribute to knowledge creation, the centres continue to undertake key research on topical issues” Prof. Oyewole added. He concluded by saying that the AAU was leveraging the brilliant ACE model and promoting it to all other African Higher Educational institutions for adoption to facilitate transformation of the continent’s higher education sector.

Responding to the rationale behind the ACE Impact Project, Dr. Ekua Bentil of the World Bank explained that the project was the first World Bank funded regional higher education initiative for Africa. According to her, the ACE Impact Project was necessitated by the need to develop home-grown skill sets for the labor market as well as applied research that responds to Africa’s developmental challenges. She added that the ACE Project is a model that needs to be replicated to elevate higher education in the region. Replying to a question raised by the press about project extension beyond its five-year duration (2019-2024), Dr. Bentil stated that the possibility of an extension would have to follow a systematic process of review by all partners including the participating governments and the World Bank.

In highlighting support to the Centres by the Project, Professors Alitonou and Mama mentioned that through the project, Centres are benefitting from the provision of enabling teaching and learning environments as well as ultra-modern laboratory equipment and upgraded facilities among other substantial benefits crucial to the enhancement of research, teaching and learning.

The Press Briefing was conducted in a hybrid manner to accommodate both physical and virtual participants. It brought together over 12 local and international journalists out of which five participated virtually. Some ACE Impact Communication Officers from the Centres also participated in the press conference virtually.

 

Written by: Millicent Afriyie Kyei, ACE Impact Communications Officer

Press Release – 6th ACE Impact Regional Workshop

For immediate Release

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Convene to Review the Project at Mid-term and Strengthen Project Implementation and Effectiveness

6th ACE Impact Regional Workshop to hold virtually from November 8th– 11th, 2021

 

Accra, Ghana (October 28, 2021) – The 6th biannual Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Regional Workshop will be held from November 8th – 11th, 2021. The meeting will bring together 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.

Since its inception in 2019, the ACE Impact has recorded remarkable successes in enhancing quality post-graduate education in higher education institutions within the sub-region including Djibouti.  With the project having reached its mid-term, this workshop will present the unique opportunity for the discussion of critical issues which emerged during the Mid-Term Review process. The workshop will focus on the exchange of views concerning the project’s key achievements and overall status, as well as engaging valuable feedback and practical solutions towards project advancement and development in the next half of implementation.

Centres will be given the opportunity to share experiences and to network to foster collaborations for project sustainability. This opportunity ensures the project’s overarching goal- to improve the quality, quantity, and development impact of postgraduate education in Africa through regional specialization and collaboration, is being achieved.

 

Generally, key focus areas of the workshop will include:

  1. Progress update and key priority areas.
  2. Mid-Term Review (MTR) – offer an opportunity to project stakeholders to jointly revisit efficacy and effectiveness of project design and implementation approach and resolve operational bottlenecks.
  • Highlights on monitoring and evaluation related activities – Verification of Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs), updates on Development Impact, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  1. Update on Networking initiatives – Inter-ACE Thematic Networks; Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET); Centers of Competence in Digital Education Initiative (C-CoDE)- an initiative to promote the sustainable integration of digital education in the teaching processes.
  2. Parallel sessions on monitoring and evaluation, financial management and disbursement, procurement, and safeguards.

 

Prior to the workshop, there will be a closed-door Ministerial meeting on November 8, 2021. Ministers of Education of the 10 participating countries, together with project partners, will convene to provide guidance on successful project implementation and sustainability.

The Opening Session will be held on Tuesday November 9, 2021 at 10:00am.

The ACE Impact project remains dedicated to building the capacities of all 53 centres to deliver quality education and produce the solutions to the continent’s development needs.

All ACE Impact key stakeholders are invited to actively participate in this workshop.

 

For more information on the ACE Impact Project, visit https://ace.aau.org/

 

  • END   –

 

 

Note to Editors

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

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

 

INFORMATION ABOUT ORGANISERS

  • 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 are 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.

 

Click to download Press release

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.

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

For immediate release

PRESS RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– END –

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

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

INFORMATION ABOUT THE ORGANISERS
• 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.

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

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

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

Click to read Press Release in English

Press Release: Selection of 44 Centres of Excellence in West and Central Africa for the ACE Impact Project

The Association of African Universities (AAU), the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU), of the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project, is pleased to announce the conditional selection of 44 centres of excellence in 12 participating countries in West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo) under the ACE for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project.

West and Central African countries, with support from the World Bank and the Association of African Universities, launched the regional Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project in 2014. Building upon the successful implementation of the ACE 1 Project, the World Bank is supporting the current ACE Impact Project which is focused on scaling up postgraduate education and applied research that are fundamental to economic growth in the region. Further, the supported universities should meet global standards for quality of education, recruit students across the region and collaborate with other African universities. The total investment across the countries is expected to reach USD 300 million, with funding from the World Bank and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD).

An independent team of evaluators, consisting of members from the African educational and scientific community supported by diaspora and global technical experts, reviewed 105 proposals that were submitted to the RFU by higher education institutions from the participating countries. Proposals were subjected to several stages of evaluation including: (i) desk reviews in which each proposal was reviewed by two experts in Accra, Ghana; (ii) external evaluation in which each proposal was remotely assessed by a subject matter specialist, and (iii) a site & leadership evaluation in which a team of experts visited shortlisted proposal sites to ascertain the readiness of the institutions in terms of governance, leadership, and infrastructure.
At the end of the rigorous and transparent evaluation exercise, the following proposals have been conditionally selected as centres of excellence by the ACE Impact Ministerial Project Steering Committee at its meeting in Accra, Ghana, on Friday, 2nd November 2018. This Committee consisted of five Ministers in charge of Higher education and seven high-level government representatives from the participating governments.

The final selection of the Centers is conditional upon: (i) the approval of the financing from the external financiers (World Bank and the French Development Agency) and availability of sufficient financing for all the proposals; (ii) the selected universities incorporate the recommendations of the evaluators into their implementation plans, and (iii) the universities demonstrate sufficient capacity to manage the funds for their intended purpose. For the selected centers where all of these conditions are met, it is planned that they will be approved for funding by April 2019.

S/NO. PROJECT TITLE LEAD INSTITUTION COUNTRY TOPIC DISCIPLINE
EXISTING CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE THAT HAVE BEEN CONDITIONALLY SELECTED FOR RENEWAL
1 CEA EN SCIENCES MATHEMATIQUES, INFORMATIQUE ET APPLICATIONS University of Abomey Calavi Benin Applied math & statistics STEM
2 CEA POUR LA FORMATION ET LA RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES DE L’EAU, L’ENERGIE ET L’ENVIRONNEMENT EN AFRIQUE DE L’OUEST ET DU CENTRE (CEA-2IE) 2iE Burkina Faso Water, energy and environment STEM
3 CEA MINES ET ENVIRONNEMENT MINIER (CEA-MEM) INP-HB Cote d’Ivoire Mining STEM
4 CEA CHANGEMENT CLIMATIQUE, BIODIVERSITE ET AGRICULTURE DURABLE (CEA-CCBAD) Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny Cote d’Ivoire Climate change Agriculture
5 CEA: STATISTIQUE ET ECONOMIE QUANTITATIVE ENSEA Cote d’Ivoire Statistics & quantitative economics Soc./Econ Sci.
6 REGIONAL WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION CENTRE KUMASI (RWESCK) KNUST Ghana Transport STEM
7 WEST AFRICAN CENTRE FOR CELL BIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS AND NON- COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (WACCBIP + NCDS) University of Ghana Ghana Cell biology of infectious e diseases Health
8 WEST AFRICA CENTRE FOR CROP IMPROVEMENT (WACCI) University of Ghana Ghana Crop Improvement Agriculture
9 ACE IN GENOMICS OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES (ACEGID) Redeemer’s University Nigeria Genomics of infectious diseases Health
10 ACE FOR NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES AND FORENSIC BIOTECHNOLOGY (ACENTDFB) Ahmadu Bello University Nigeria Neglected tropical diseases Health
11 ACE FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH INNOVATION (CERHI) University of Benin Nigeria Reproductive Health Health
12 ACE IN DRY LAND AGRICULTURE (CDA) Bayero University, Kano Nigeria Dryland Agriculture Agriculture
13 CENTRE FOR FOOD TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH (CEFTER) Benue State University Nigeria Food tech and research Agriculture
14 ACE: OAU ICT-DRIVEN KNOWLEDGE PARK (OAU-OAK) OAU Nigeria Digital Development STEM
15 CENTER FOR OILFIELD CHEMICALS RESEARCH (CEFOR) University of Port Harcourt Nigeria Oil and gas STEM
16 CEA MATHÉ-MATIQUES, INFORMATIQUE ET TIC (CEA-MITIC) Univ. Gaston Berger Senegal Digital Development STEM
17 CEA POUR LA SANTE DE LA MERE ET DE L’ENFANT (CEA-SAMEF) Université Cheikh Anta Diop Senegal Maternal & infant health Health
18 CENTRE D’EXCELLENCE REGIONAL SUR LES SCIENCES AVIAIRES (CERSA) Université de Lomé Togo Poultry science Agriculture
NEW CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE THAT ARE CONDITIONALLY SELECTED
19 CENTRE D’EXCELLENCE AFRICAIN POUR L’EAU ET L’ASSAINISSEMENT (C2EA) Université Abomey Calavi Benin Water & sanitation STEM
20 CENTRE DE FORMATION, DE RECHERCHE ET D’EXPERTISES EN SCIENCES DU MEDICAMENT Université de Ouaga I Burkina Faso Pharmaceutical Science Health
21 CEA ET INNOVATION BIOTECHNOLOGIQUES POUR L’ELIMINATION DES MALADIES A TRANS-MISSION VECTORIELLE (CEA/ITECH-MTV) Université Nazi Boni Burkina Faso Biotech for eliminating vector transmitted diseases Health
22 ACE FOR POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION University of Buea Cameroon OBGYN -Medical education Health
23 CEA: VALORISATION DES DECHETS EN PRODUITS A HAUTE VALEUR AJOUTEE (VALOPRO) INPHB CDI Waste management and value-added STEM
24 REGIONAL TRANSPORT TRAINING AND RESEARCH CENTRE KNUST Ghana Transport STEM
25 ACE:REGIONAL CENTER FOR ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY (RCEES) University of Energy & Natural Resources Ghana Power STEM
26 WEST AFRICAN CENTER FOR WATER, IRRIGATION AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE University of Development Studies Ghana Water & irrigation STEM
27 AFRICA CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN COASTAL RESILIENCE (ACECoR) University of Cape Coast Ghana Coastal Degradation STEM
28 WEST AFRICA GENETIC MEDICINE CENTRE University of Ghana Ghana Genetic medicine Health
29 CENTRE D’EXCELLENCE AFRICAIN POUR LA PREVENTION ET LE CONTROLE DES MALADIES TRANSMISSIBLES (CEA PCMT) Université Gamal Abdel Nasser de Conakry Guinea Prevention & control of transmittable diseases Health
30 CENTRE D’EXCELLENCE REGIONAL SUR LES PRODUCTIONS PASTORALES : VIANDE, LAIT, CUIRS ET PEAUX (CERPP) Université Abdou Moumouni Niger Livestock Agriculture
31 AFRICA CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE ON TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING (ACETEL) National open university of Nigeria Nigeria Digital Development STEM
32 COVENANT APPLIED INFORMATICS AND COMMUNICATION Covenant University Nigeria Digital Development STEM
33 ACE: AFRICA CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE ON NEW PEDAGOGY IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION (ACENPEE) Ahmadu Bello University Nigeria Engineering education STEM
34 AFRICA CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE: PUBLIC HEALTH AND TOXICOLOGICAL RESEARCH University of Port Harcourt Nigeria Nursing Health
35 ACE: CENTRE FOR POPULATION HEALTH AND POLICY Bayero University Nigeria Nursing Health
36 AFRICAN CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR MYCOTOXIN AND FOOD SAFETY Federal University of Technology Minna Nigeria Mycotoxin and food safety Health
37 ACE: DRUG RESEARCH, HERBAL MEDICINE DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATORY SCIENCE University of Lagos Nigeria Herbal medicine and regulation Health
38 CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR INNOVATIVE AND TRANSFORMATIONS STEM EDUCATION (CITSE) Lagos State University Nigeria STEM Education Education
39 ACE FOR SUSTAINABLE POWER ANS ENERGY DEVELOPMENT (ACE_SPED) University of Nigeria Nsukka Nigeria Power STEM
40 CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN FUTURE ENERGIES AND ELECTROCHEMICAL SYSTEMS Federal University of Technology Owerri Nigeria Renewable energy STEM
41 CEA « AGIR » EN ENVIRONNEMENT ET SANTE Université Cheikh Anta Diop Senegal Env & Health STEM
42 CEA AGRICULTURE POUR LA SECURITE ALIMENTAIRE ET NUTRITIONNELLE (CEA AGRISAN) Université Cheikh Anta Diop Senegal Food security & nutrition Agriculture
43 CENTRE D’EXCELLENCE REGIONAL POUR LA MAITRISE DE L’ELECTRICITE (CERME) Universite de Lome Togo Power STEM
44 CENTRE D’EXCELLENCE REGIONAL VILLES DURABLES EN AFRIQUE (DOUNEDON) Université de Lomé Togo Urban Design Soc./Econ Sci.

Celebrating Academic Excellence in Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Ouagadougou Celebrates Academic Excellence in Africa

22 Centers of Excellence presented their education and applied research programs and innovations to the public

Ouagadougou, 7 May 2018. The very first “Higher Education Student Fair” of the African Centers of Excellence (ACEs) was held today on the campus of the Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. All the 22 ACEs financed by the World Bank and hosted by universities in 9 West and Central African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) attended the event.

This is a great day for Africa, as well as all the ACEs represented here to celebrate academic excellence. The training and research programs presented to the public today demonstrates that we are capable of developing the advanced skills Africa needs to accelerate its development“, said Professor Etienne Ehilé, Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), the institution responsible for monitoring the implementation of the ACEs and co-organizer of the event.

The research programs presented cover the following areas: (i) genomics and infectious diseases; (ii) water, energy and environment; (iii) agricultural development and environmental sustainability; (iv) cell biology of infectious pathogens; (v) neglected tropical diseases and forensic biotechnology; (vi) crop improvement; (vii) phytomedicine and development; (viii) reproductive health and innovation; (ix) mathematical sciences and applications; (x) oilfield chemicals; (xi) water and sanitation; (xii) poultry sciences; (xiii) information and communications technology; (xiv) maternal and child health; (xv) dryland agriculture; (xvi) food technology; (xvii) statistics; (xviii) climate change; (xix) mining; and (xx) materials science and engineering.

Each of the 22 ACEs is regionally unique. They aim to support the emergence of regional poles of excellence within higher education and applied research. The centers seek to produce a critical mass of high-level specialists at the Masters and PhD levels as well as providing short term professional training to professionals seeking to improve their skills. These programs are focused on producing the skills needed to address regional development challenges in areas such as water, agriculture, health, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Our programs meet the international standards and our students come from all over Africa. At the end of their training, they are competitive, innovative and immediately access the job market, thus reflecting our slogan of “One diploma, one job”, said Professor Harouna Karambiri, hydro-climatologist and Coordinator of CEA-2iE.

In opening the Fair, Mr. Cheick Fantamady Kanté, World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso highlighted the innovative aspect of the ACEs: “The African Centers of Excellence project that we support is one of the most innovative projects aimed at providing Africa with the technical know-how necessary to meet its many development challenges”.

I am happy to be here and expect to interact with students and other visitors on the key achievements of our center. Our team is happy to present to the public our high-ranking Master’s and PhD programs which are contemporary, comprehensive and up to date on reproductive health”, said Dr. Mrs. O.E. Obarisiagbon, PhD student at the Center of Excellence on Reproductive Health Innovation, at University of Benin, Nigeria.

Several actors of the academia (including students), the private sector, industry, civil society, and others visited the Fair to discover the research areas covered by the ACEs and to explore opportunities for effective partnerships: “I heard about the centers of excellence and came to find out what programs are available to help me make the best choice for my Master’s studies,” says Hassane Koumare, a third-year undergraduate physics student from Mali who visited the Fair.

For Mr. Andreas Blom, Lead Economist and Task Team Leader for the ACE project at the World Bank, the ACEs are achieving good results and are being successful in attracting more students from the region. He commends its ownership by all stakeholders and indicates the next steps: “Currently, the ACEs have developed more than 15 programs that are accredited and meet international standards. In addition, the ACEs have developed 35 new programs that have already attracted about 6,000 students in Master’s and 1,600 PhD students; of these, 3,000 are regional students”. We are encouraged by the strong ownership of the ACEs at institutional, national and regional levels and we are taking steps to move to the next level to support the creation of new centers of excellence and provide additional financing to scale up on some of the existing ones that are already glowing at regional and international level”.

The African Centers of Excellence initiative is a flagship program supported by the World Bank that is providing an innovative regional response to make higher education more relevant to Africa’s development. With a total investment of $165 million, the project offers an optimal way to build regional specialization, concentrate limited top-level faculty, generate spillovers and meet private sector demand for technical skills.

You can download the following:

  1. Press Release in French – ACE Higher Education Fair
  2. Address by the AAU Secretary General in French

CONTACTS

For more information, please contact:

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