About 300 participants took part in the maiden “Higher Education Student Fair” of the ACE project held on May 7, 2018 on the campus of the Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The Fair brought together stakeholders from academia (including students), the private sector, industry, civil society, and others.
The event was officially opened through the cutting of a tape by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Leopoldo Amado, the Secretary General of the AAU, Prof. Etienne E. Ehile, the World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso, Mr. Cheick Fantamady Kanté and the General Director of 2iE, Prof. Mady Koanda. 
In his welcoming remarks, Prof. Mady of 2iE indicated the appreciation of the institution for hosting this first higher education fair and called on participants to take advantage of the various opportunities availed to them by the Centers of Excellence through the Fair.  
Professor Amado on his part stressed ECOWAS’ support for the event, and reiterated the Commission’s belief in the potential of the ACEs to meet the Region’s challenges.


A wide array of exhibits including scientific equipment, laboratory chemicals, sample innovative processed foods and publications were displayed by the participating Centres of Excellence. 
The research programs presented to visitors covered 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.
The event received coverage by both local and international media including Africable, BBC Africa Radio, RTB television and Pays. The AAU TV also covered this important event. 
The day ended with a Project Steering Committee meeting where government representatives of the 22 Centers of Excellence, World Bank and AAU teams, together with other stakeholders convened to review progress and discuss the way forward for the project.
The link to some photos from the event is also shared below. This will be updated at the end of the programme;