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.

PRESS RELEASE: Launch of Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) for Development Impact Project

                            

Accra, Ghana, September 4, 2018The third phase of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) for Development Impact Project (or ACE Impact Project) was launched on August 31, 2018. The ACE Impact Project seeks to improve the quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education (defined to include Masters and PhD degrees, and short-term professional level courses and training) in selected universities through regional specialization and collaboration.  Institutions from the following West and Central African countries are eligible to apply: Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Djibouti, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Niger, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Senegal, Republic of The Gambia, and the Republic of Togo.

The project would focus on establishing new ACEs and scaling-up well-performing ones from the first phase (ACE I). It would also foster regional partnerships for emerging centres and regional scholarships as well as enhance regional project facilitation, and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

The thematic areas to be addressed by the ACE for Development Impact project are; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Health and Agriculture. In addition, priority would be given to key areas such as Coastal Degradation; Digital Development; Education Training and Leadership; Social Risk Management; Nursing; Power; Public Procurement; Public Policy and Quantitative Skills; Transport; Urban Design; and Water.

A ‘Call for Proposals’ was issued on August 31, 2018 on the ACE website (https://ace.aau.org/) to encourage interested institutions in the above- mentioned countries to apply. Proposals received will be evaluated in a competitive process.

“The launch of the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact Project confirms the good work done by the Centres in the first phase (ACE I) of the Project. As ACE I made productive strides in solving developmental challenges on the continent, we look forward to achieving greater and impactful milestones in this third phase. I would also encourage eligible institutions to apply and help develop the advanced skills Africa needs to accelerate its socio-economic development.” said the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), the Regional Facilitation Unit for the ACE I and ACE for Development Impact Projects.

About ACE Project

The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) project is an innovative regional response to making higher education more relevant to Africa’s development. It aims to strengthen the capacity of participating universities to offer training and undertake high-quality applied research to address the continent’s development challenges. 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.

ACE I started in 2014 and will come to an end on 31st December 2019 while the ACE Impact will commence in 2019 and will run for the next five years.

 

Contacts: 

Prof. Jonathan Mba

jcmba@aau.org

+233-30-277-4495 / 761588

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Announcement – Africa Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project

Countries Eligible for Participation (Anticipated)

REPUBLIC OF BURKINA FASO
REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON
REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI
REPUBLIC OF GHANA
REPUBLIC OF GUINEA
REPUBLIC OF TOGO
REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
REPUBLIC OF NIGER
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL
(Other countries may join following the discussions between the World Bank, national governments and other potential financiers)

A. Introduction
The Africa Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) project anticipates the formal launch of a Call for Proposals in June 2018. Eligible higher education institutions from participating countries in West and Central Africa will be encouraged to submit proposals that address a regional Development Challenge through a focused program of postgraduate education and applied research.

This pre-announcement letter has been released to introduce the anticipated project, and to share a draft version of the Call for Proposals so that potential applicants can begin developing their proposals.

B. Objective and Expected Results
The Project development objective is to improve quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education in selected universities through regional specialization and collaboration.
The expected results of the proposed project include:

  • Increase in the number of students (with a focus on regional and female students) enrolled and graduating from the masters and PhD programs
  • Improvement in the quality of programs (including increase in number of programs and ACE host institutions that obtain international accreditation, stronger regional and global partnerships)
  • Improvement in the relevance of the trainings and applied research evident through:
    • Increase in amount of externally generated income
    • Increase in number of industry/sectoral partners and stronger commitments from these partners (through funding, internships, advisory board participation, etc.)
  • Increase in regional networks
  • Evidence of substantial development impact attributable to the project.

C. ACE-Impact Components
Proposals may be submitted through the national governments to the ACE Impact project either under the Component 1 or the Component 2 process. Please refer to page 4 for the list of contact persons for each participating country.

(i) Component 1 has two Sub-components: Sub-component 1.1 will provide support to newly established centers of excellence; and Sub-component 1.2 will provide additional support to existing centers with a record of excellence in the ACE I Project. Each Component 1 ACE center will address a regional development challenge through high quality postgraduate education, targeted applied research, and short courses for mid-career professionals. Partnerships with national, regional, and global industry, sectoral actors and academic institutions will ensure that the ACEs focus their activities on the relevant education and research needs to solve specific problems associated with the development challenges.

Approximately ten Component 1 centers are anticipated to be supported in pre-identified thematic sectors, and must respond to specific topical Terms of Reference that will be specified in the formal Call for Proposals. These sectors are expected to include water, ICT, power (energy), urban design, coastal degradation, environmental/social safeguards, math/science education, quantitative economics and health. The Terms of Reference will focus on the training/skills needs as well as some particular research priorities that the centers are expected to address.

A further 15-20 Component 1 centers will be supported in topical areas that address a Development Challenge, but are not subject to pre-identified Terms of Reference.

(ii) Component 2 will provide support to strengthen emerging centers in countries with higher education systems that are not yet mature enough to be competitive under Component 1. This component will provide targeted support to build national undergraduate and postgraduate education and support to engage in regional applied research in thematic areas of regional need. Those institutions supported through Component 2 will be expected to partner with ACEs supported under Component 1 to strengthen regional academic networks and build education and research capacity.

D. Draft Call for Proposals
Attached to this pre-announcement letter is the draft Proposal template. While this draft Proposal template may not be the final version formally released in June, the basic structure and objectives of the Call for Proposals is expected to remain consistent. Those institutions that intend to submit a proposal are encouraged to begin proposal development with the expectation that the broad sections described will remain.

This draft Call for Proposals is focused on Component 1.1 – new Centers of Excellence. Current ACE 1 Centers of Excellence seeking renewed (additional) funding through ACE Impact (Component 1.2) will respond to a similar call but are expected to provide additional content as part of their proposal, including incorporating results from ACE 1 to support the appropriate sections of their proposal. Component 2 proposals may address undergraduate education activities in addition to postgraduate education, while receiving needed regional technical assistance.

(i) Regional Scope
The ACE Impact project is designed to strengthen targeted regional higher education capacity of West and Central Africa. This regional focus is a key element of the project. In responding to the Call for Proposals, institutions should describe how the proposed center serves a regional need, and will grow its regional impact through education and research activities. ACE Impact centers are expected to serve as regional hubs – recruiting students from across the region (30% of center enrollments), building regional partnerships, and conducting applied research on a Development Challenge that is relevant for West and Central Africa.

(ii) Industry/Sectoral Engagement
The active participation of companies and/or sectoral1 stakeholders in defining and assisting in the education and applied research activities for each center is essential to the success of the ACE Impact project. Industry is uniquely positioned to inform each center of the skills needs to advance the sector and what coursework is necessary to prepare students for a rapidly changing workplace. In addition, regional industry actors are well-positioned to inform each center of the applied research needs to effectively support regional industry and to address the most pressing questions associated with the Development Challenges.

Institutions intending to respond to the ACE Impact Call for Proposals must reach out now to potential local, regional, and international industry partners. In addition to helping define the education and research goals of the proposed center, industry is expected to join the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), and to contribute financially to the activities and sustainability of the ACE Impact centers. Evidence of strong commitments and demand from industry/sectoral partners are expected to be submitted (including commitment letters, market surveys, etc.)

(iii) Academic Partnerships
Academic partnerships – national, regional, and global – are encouraged for potential ACE Impact centers, and can be with individual collaborators or at the department/center/institutional level. In the proposal stage, institutions should identify academic partners who commit to collaborate with the center to support its mission. These partnerships may build upon previous collaborations, or may be new and indicate a need or opportunity for the proposed center. Partnerships may: (1) raise the education and research capacity of the proposed center by leveraging the expertise (and/or resources) offered by the partner and that may not exist at the center; (2) increase the capacity of partner institutions in the region to deliver quality education and research; and/or (3) build a network – with specializations among the members – that can raise regional capacity to address a Development Challenge.

E. Evaluation Process
All proposals submitted for Component 1 centers in the ACE Impact project will be evaluated through an open, rigorous, transparent, competitive and merit-based process consistent with international standards for funding centers of excellence. The evaluation process will consist of two sequential steps: Desk Evaluation of the written proposal; and On-site Visit to a short-list of proposed centers. The criteria that will be used to evaluate all proposals will be made available when the formal Call for Proposals is released.


1 Sectoral partners can include relevant public enterprises, Ministries, government agencies, public authorities, chambers of commerce, trade groups, hospitals, policymakers and other appropriate stakeholders.


F. Anticipated Timeline
The formal launch of the Call for Proposals for ACE Impact is expected to occur in June 2018. The Call for Proposals will include details on the evaluation and selection criteria, and again provide a list of national contact points (and, where appropriate, national ACE Impact project websites) for additional information related to the submission of proposals.

Proposals submitted under Component 1 will be due approximately three months after the Call for Proposals is launched (August 2018). The evaluation process is anticipated to be completed in October 2018, with selection of the ACE Impact Centers made by the Project Steering Committee by late October 2018. The formal launch of the ACE Impact Centers is planned for February 2019.

G. Partnerships
The ACE Impact project has sought to establish strategic partnerships with leading international research funding organizations, research performing organizations and national development organizations to strengthen the project. It is anticipated that Agence Française de Développement (AFD) will co-finance ACE centers with the governments and World Bank. Additional higher education and research agencies from France, Germany, Japan, the UK, China, Korea and the USA are expected to support researchers collaborating with the ACE Impact centers.

H. Contact Persons 

Country Contact Person(s) Email
Republic of Burkina Faso Mr Rasmane Kabore ramaneka@hotmail.com
Republic of Cameroon Prof Logmo aaron logmoa2003@yahoo.fr
Republic of Djibouti Dr Fahmi Ahmed fahmi_gamal@yahoo.fr
Republic of Ghana Prof Mohammed Salifu
Mr Edmund Aalangdong
salifum@ncte.edu.gh
edmoundan@yahoo.com
Republic of Guinea Prof Mamadou Saliou Diallo msbala.diallo@isfad-gn.org
Republic of Togo Prof Kouami Kokou kokoukouami@hotmail.com
Republic of The Gambia Mr Yusupha Touray yusuph77@gmail.com
Republic of Niger Mme Sabo Haoua Seini hseinisabo@yahoo.fr
Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr Joshua Atah jaatah@nuc.edu.ng
Republic of Senegal Prof Amadou Abdoul Sow amadouabdoul.sow@ucad.edu.sn

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