Stanford University Names ACE-FUELS Director Among World Top Scientists

Professor Emeka Oguzie, the Centre Director for the Africa Centre of Excellence for Future Energies and Electrochemical Systems(ACE FUELS), hosted by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) has being named by the Stanford University among the top 2 percent of the most cited scientist in various disciplines (Civil, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Physics, Biosciences and Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, among others) in the world. The list comprises 159, 683 individuals with nearly 1500 scientists, doctors and engineers globally.

The report was prepared by a team led by Professor John P. A. Loannisis of Stanford University. Prof. Loannisis is a renowed scientist whose enormous contributions in evidence-based medicine, epidemiology and clinical research have been globally celebrated. The database was created to provide updated analyses and a publicly available database of top scientists that provide standardized information on citations, h-index, co-authorship-adjusted hm-index, citations to papers in different authorship positions, and a composite indicator.

About Professor Emeka Oguzie
Professor Emeka Oguzie leads the multidisciplinary Electrochemistry and Materials Science Research Unit at FUTO. He is noted for his insightful works in the fields of Chemistry and Materials Science. Prof. Oguzie is also the President of the International Family Foundation.
He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Pure Chemistry from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, M.Sc. in Analytical Chemistry from the Federal University of Technology Owerri and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Calabar.

About Stanford University
The Stanford University is a US based University noted for its academic and research excellence. According to the 2020 edition of the QS World University Rankings, Stanford University is the 2nd highest- ranking university in the world.


CERHI/ACEGID Partnership Wins Grant for Validation of Rapid Diagnostic COVID-19 Test Kits

The Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI), University of Benin in collaboration with the African Centre of Excellence in Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) hosted by the Redeemer’s University and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) have been awarded a Grant to validate Rapid Diagnostic Tests kits (RDT) for COVID-19 testing in Nigeria.

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a research consortium between CERHI and UBTH for the testing of the SARS COV-2 virus. With CERHI’s laboratories and facilities, including RT-PCR machine for testing for the virus and UBTH’s expertise in managing infectious diseases, the unit was validated by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to become the second testing unit in Edo State, and one of the few in Nigeria. Similarly, the African Centre of Excellence in Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) successfully sequenced the genomes of the COVID-19 virus and was the first institution to do so in Africa. Considering this knowledge and expertise, the three institutions partnered to apply for a Grant on the validation of RDTs in Nigeria. Led by Professor Friday E. Okonofua, Centre leader of CERHI and Professor Christian Happi, Centre Leader of ACEGID, the team’s proposal was selected for funding and implementation.  The CERHI/UBTH/ACEGID team is one of the 5 teams selected to develop and implement a national protocol for the validation of RDT kits for COVID-19 in Nigeria. The projected timeline for completion of this project is four months.

The importance of this project stems from the fact that available rapid tests for COVID-19 in Nigeria have not been validated and as a result, this project will contribute to the validation of the rapid COVID-19 tests, comparing the sensitivities and predictive results obtained from their use with the gold standard and the PCR test.  If the rapid tests are found to be sensitive and accurate, it will expand access to COVID-19 testing to millions of Nigerians, and the continent at large.

The Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI) and Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) are part of the 53 Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) supported by World Bank through the coordination of the Association of African Universities as the Regional Facilitation Unit. The ACE Impact project aims to address regional developmental challenges through quality post-graduate education and applied research (

CERHI implements high quality training and applied research for reproductive health professionals. The centre is also a leading name in the development and implementation of several ground-breaking researches in the field of sexual and reproductive health and population studies within the continent (

ACEGID focuses on capacity building of African scientists in the field of genomics. The centre aims to translate the research outcome to products that can be deployed to the field to contribute to the control, management and elimination of infectious diseases in the continent (

KEEP Opens Applications for PhD, MPhil and MSc Programmes in Engineering

The College of Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) calls for applications into its  PhD, MPhil and MSc  Programmes in Engineering.

PhD Programme 

The College, through the School of Graduate Studies, KNUST is pleased to announce the availability of limited partial funding to pursue a 3-year full time programmes in the following:
• PhD Bio-engineering
• PhD Computer Engineering
• PhD Materials Engineering
• PhD Sustainable Energy Technologies
• PhD Telecommunications Engineering
• PhD Chemical Engineering
• PhD Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply to take advantage of the funding opportunities available.

Entry Requirement
In conformity with the entry requirement of the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the successful candidate should have a minimum of:
• First or Second Class (Upper Division) in first degree
• Good Master’s degree with an average of at least 60%. Please refer to (POSTGRADUATE ADMISSIONS BROCHURE) for specific requirements related to the programme being applied for.
• Age limit is 40 years
In addition
• Candidates from non-Anglophone countries must have an internationally recognized Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language (TOEFL or British Council, IELTS)with above average score or be available to attend a three (3) months English language course at KNUST.
• Candidates with one publication in a journal as first author have an advantage.
• Evidence of current and previous employments.

Masters Programme (MSc/MPhil)

The College of Engineering is pleased to announce that limited partially-funded scholarships are available for applicants from Ghana and West African Countries to pursue 18 months full-time MSc programme or 24 months MPhil in the following specializations:
• MPhil Computer Engineering
• MPhil Bio-engineering
• MPhil Materials Engineering
• MPhil Power Systems Engineering
• MPhil Chemical Engineering
• MPhil Renewable Energy Technologies
• MPhil Telecommunications Engineering
• MSc Cyber Security and Digital Forensics
• MSc Renewable Energy Technologies

Females are encouraged to apply to take advantage of the funding opportunities available.

Entry Requirement

In conformity with the entry requirement of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the successful candidate will should have a minimum of:
• First or Second Class (Upper Division) in first degree in a relevant field. Please refer to (POSTGRADUATE ADMISSIONS BROCHURE) for relevant degrees for admission into your programme of choice.
• Candidates from non-Anglophone countries must have an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language (TOEFL or British Council, IELTS) with above average score or be available to attend a three (3) months English language course at KNUST.

Completing Application Form
Ghanaian Students: Candidates must purchase an e-voucher by paying the application fee of Two Hundred and Fifty Ghana Cedis (GH¢250.00) at the following banks: GCB, Consolidated Bank (CBG) or Ecobank. Upon payment of application fee, candidiates would receive an eVoucher containing an application number and pin that would grant access to the online admission portal. Candidates should then proceed to the online admission portal ( and begin the application process.
International students: Access the KNUST application form via: Admission Portal ( complete application form and attach all relevant documents
• Once the process has been completed, candidates MUST PRINT OUT 2 COPIES of the completed application form from the portal and submit signed copies (by post) to the School of Graduate Studies together with all relevant documents including Photocopies of Certificates, Recommendation Letters, and Transcript to the following address:
The Secretary
School of Graduate Studies

Deadline for the submission of application forms is 30th June, 2020.

Shortlisted candidates will be required to attend a selection interview in Kumasi OR via telephone/Skype. The date of the interview will be communicated after short listing.

Application supporting documents
• Completed application form with Two passport photographs
• Detailed CV and two letters of reference (one from a supervisor at the Master’s level)
• Official transcripts and certificates for BSc and MSc degrees
• Proof of ability to communicate in English for Candidates from non-Anglophone countries
• PhD and MPhil candidates are to submit soft and hard copies of a letter of motivation (max. two pages) with the heading outlining why you want to study, what makes you well-suited to study in your chosen specialization, current occupation, how the Programme will fit into your professional vision, how your home country stands to benefit after your training.
• PhD and MPhil candidates are to submit both soft and hard copies of a short concept note (max. 3 pages) outlining the justification, objectives, methodology and expected outcomes of a research idea.

All inquiries should be sent via email

ACE for Impact Centers respond to COVID19


The life-threatening nature of the COVID19 pandemic has been felt globally – its influence on global education systems is also being felt in Africa. Activities in African higher education institutions (HEIs) were suspended by various governments in order to contain the spread of the virus. Many of these institutions are host universities of the Africa Centers of Excellence for Development Impact project (ACE Impact) and as a result, activities of these Centers were slowed down. However, as part of their objectives to address regional developmental challenges, the ACE Impact Centers initiated measures to support the containment and management of the virus in all 11 participating countries within the West African sub region.

What is an Africa Center of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE for Impact Center)

These are largely competitively selected faculties, schools or colleges within an African University. The ACE Impact Centers focus on STEM, Agriculture, Environment, Health and applied Social Sciences / Education thematic areas. As part of the ACE for Development Impact project they are mandated to deliver quality undergraduate and post-graduate programs, promote regional academic mobility, address national and regional problems through research and promote best practices to their entire university systems.

Challenges faced by the ACEs for Development Impact Centers

The Association of African Universities, which is the Regional Facilitation Unit for the ACE Impact project,  in collaboration with the World Bank conducted a survey to understand steps taken by the ACE for Impact Centers in addressing the pandemic to ensure continuous teaching and learning. Subsequently, a virtual meeting was held with the Centers to validate information collected through the survey.  The survey results indicated challenges faced by the Centers and they pertain to infrastructure ; skills ; e-Platforms; limited time to plan and implement alternative solutions; limited commitment of staff and students to online learning; funding challenges and infection risks.

A review of how the ACE for Development Impact Centers in West Africa are responding to COVID19

Even though the ACE Impact Centers are facing numerous challenges, they are still contributing their quota in helping countries within the West African sub-region manage the crisis. The Centers have so far responded to the COVID19 pandemic by using technology for teaching, learning and research; engaging in innovative and groundbreaking research activities and participating in community outreach activities and services.

  1. Notably, there has been groundbreaking research going on in different centers to provide immediate solutions that can support the management of the pandemic. The researches have so far led to the sequencing of the virus, abilities to carry out massive testing and online screening of individuals’ risk levels, among others.
  2. In line with the ACE for development impact project objective to contribute to regional development through applied research, the centers are doing research to address societal needs. These efforts have included the production of personal protection equipment such as  face shields through 3D printing,  manufacturing of ventilators, production of nose masks, production of alcoholic gels and hand sanitizers and manufacturing of hand washing equipment for communities in their respective countries.
  3. Several Centers have also created mathematical models to help assess and predict the spread of the virus and the possibility of confinement in certain cities.

These initiatives are all key towards preventing the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

DOWNLOAD Table that profiles individual ACE for Impact Centers’ Efforts towards responding to COVID 19

About the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project       

The Africa Higher Education Centers 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), Environment, Agriculture, applied Social Science / Education 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 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 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.

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

ACEI and ACE IMPACT Official Opening Ceremony held in Djibouti on Wednesday 20 February 2019

The much-anticipated opening ceremony for the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact Project was held on the morning of Wednesday 20th February 2019 at Kempinski Hotel in Djibouti City, Djibouti. Dr Saida Chideh Soliman was the madam of ceremonies. In attendance were the President of the Republic of Djibouti H.E. Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh, the First Lady of the Republic of Djibouti, The Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Research in Djibouti, H.E. Dr Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities, Prof Etienne Ehouan Ehile, the Djibouti World Bank Country Representative, Mr Atou Seck, and the French Development Agency Deputy Manager for Education, Vocational Training and Employment Sector, Ms Valerie Tehio. 

Remarks by the Secretary General of the AAU

Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile applauded the President of the Republic of Djibouti for taking time out of his busy schedule to participate in the ACE IMPACT Official Opening Ceremony. He said that this confirmed the President’s commitment to the Education Agenda in Djibouti and Africa as a whole. He also thanked the Government of Djibouti for supporting the hosting of the 2019 ACE meetings. He reminded the audience about the African Union Commission Policies and International Development Policies that promote the growth of education. He reiterated that strategic investments in Higher Education were critical for national development. On a lighter note he asked the President to ‘always remember the gratitude of the higher education stakeholders when he hears the cock crowing every morning’. Please Click Here for the Full Speech of the AAU Secretary General

Remarks by the Representative of the French Development Agency

Ms Valerie Tehio the Deputy Manager for Education, Vocational Training and Employment Sector made remarks on behalf of the French Development Agency (AFD). She said that the AFD was honoured to be part of this event and the ambitious ACE IMPACT program. AFD looks forward to contributing to the success of the ACE IMPACT project – through complementary support for regional networking and funding of technical experts to support selected ACEs. She concluded by wishing the participants successful meetings.

Remarks by the Djibouti World Bank Country Representative

Mr Atou Seck thanked all the participants for coming to Djibouti to attend the scheduled meetings. He also thanked all the institutions represented for their willingness to collaborate. He paid tribute to Mr Andreas Blom for his well-documented efforts towards strengthening African Universities. He mentioned that Djibouti was selected as an emerging Centre of Excellence in Africa in the field of logistics and transport within the faculty of engineering. He predicted that in future people would come to Djibouti to learn about transport and logistics or to do cutting edge research in the areas of transport and logistics.

Remarks by the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Djibouti

H.E. Dr Nabil Mohamed Ahmed welcomed the participants to “Djibouti the land of encounters, the land of peace and the land of engagements”. He expressed his joy that this event had materialized as per his vision. He paid tribute to the World Bank and AAU for supporting the Government of Djibouti to hold the ACE meetings in Djibouti City. He also congratulated the University of Djibouti Vice Chancellor for successfully spearheading the associated planning and logistics. He emphasized that it was the responsibility of Africans to work hard and ensure that educational institutions were effective and that the certificates given were recognized internationally. He said that Africa needed to catch up in the area of applied new technologies. Djibouti needs to optimize the transport chain by harnessing technology. Djibouti must exploit its competitive advantage as a transport hub. There is also an urgent need to increase the number of Djiboutian women Professors

The Message from the Honourable President of the Republic of Djibouti

His Excellency Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh the President of the Republic of Djibouti congratulated the organizers and the participants for the holding of the conference and the launch of the ACE IMPACT Project. He thanked the partners for positioning Higher Education to support the socio-economic development of African countries. He voiced his delight that Djibouti was now a member of the restricted club of ACE universities. He reminded the audience that he was a firm believer in providing African solutions to African problems. Therefore, he was thrilled that the ACE Djibouti would focus on logistics and transport. The President said that the transport sector was the “lungs of Djibouti”. Djibouti was ready to exploit its strategic location. There was a need to digitize the transport and transit procedures for the Djibouti transport sector. He underscored that scientific and technical development was therefore key. He ended his remarks by stating that he believed in the capacities of African countries, the youth and African researchers. He officially declared the conference opened.

Links to some photos.

AAU Staff pose for a photo with some participants during the ACE Impact Opening Ceremony in Djibouti
A cross-section of the attendees during the ACE IMPACT Opening Ceremony on the 20th February 2019 in Djibouti

An overview of the first two Days of the ACE Meetings in Djibouti

At least 450 Higher Education stakeholders (representing over 30 nationalities) gathered in Djibouti to attend a string of meetings under the banner of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project from 18 – 26 February 2019. The various meetings included the Project Steering Committee Meetings for the ACEI Project and the new ACE IMPACT Project, the 10th ACE I workshops and the ACE IMPACT Bootcamp.

On the 18th February 2019 the day zero activities were at the Kempinski Hotel and they focused on the 14th Project Steering Committee Meeting for ACE I and the 1st ACE IMPACT Project Steering Committee Meeting. Here is the 14th ACE I PSC Meeting Agenda (English); 14th ACE I PSC Meeting Agenda (French) and the ACE Impact PSC Meeting Agenda (English)

Day one activities were hosted by the University of Djibouti on the 19th February 2019. 

In his opening remarks, Mr Andreas Blom, ACE IMPACT Task team Leader with the World Bank welcomed all the participants and encouraged them to use the opportunity to engage and learn from their colleagues. He also praised the ACEI institutions for the amazing results that they had achieved to date. The ACE IMPACT Project, valued at over USD350 million, is a result of the success of the ACEI Project. The World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) in collaboration with the African governments, have conditionally identified 44 ACEs (26 new ones and 18 from ACE I); 5 Emerging Centres; and 5 Colleges and Schools of Engineering for funding through this new phase called “ACE IMPACT”.

Professor Djama Hassan Mohamed, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Djibouti also welcomed all the participants – saying that despite all the problems that abound, the African continent was changing. He called for strong bonds of collaboration between and among the Centres of Excellence. He emphasized the need for universities to actively mentor their students, expose them to quality research and allow them to explore new frontiers of knowledge.

The plenary on “Creating Strong Regional Networks” was chaired by Prof Fahmi Ahmed and facilitated by Gen Xavier Michel. This session exposed the ACE Centers to selected and relevant regional networks that they could learn from or collaborate with.  

Please find links to some files that may be of interest to you

A picture view of participants during the ACEI Meeting at the University of Djibouti on the 19th February 2019
A front-view of participants during the ACEI Meeting at the University of Djibouti on the 19th February 2019

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.

1 CEA EN SCIENCES MATHEMATIQUES, INFORMATIQUE ET APPLICATIONS University of Abomey Calavi Benin Applied math & statistics 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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 ( 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.



Prof. Jonathan Mba

+233-30-277-4495 / 761588






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

Countries Eligible for Participation (Anticipated)

(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
Republic of Cameroon Prof Logmo aaron
Republic of Djibouti Dr Fahmi Ahmed
Republic of Ghana Prof Mohammed Salifu
Mr Edmund Aalangdong
Republic of Guinea Prof Mamadou Saliou Diallo
Republic of Togo Prof Kouami Kokou
Republic of The Gambia Mr Yusupha Touray
Republic of Niger Mme Sabo Haoua Seini
Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr Joshua Atah
Republic of Senegal Prof Amadou Abdoul Sow

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