Call for Participation| 5th Pan African School of Materials (PASMAT)

The Pan African Materials Institute (PAMI),one of the Centres under the World Bank funded ACE Project warmly invites all including students and faculty in Material Sciences to its fifth Pan African School of Materials (PASMAT V) and Second Mathematics and Science for Sub Sahara Africa (MS4SSA II) from August 19- 25, 2018 and August 19 – September 1, 2018 respectively at the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) campus| Abuja, Nigeria.

For further enquiries, interested participants should visit www.pami.aust.edu.ng

 

 

 

Call for Abstract and Participation

The Africa Center of Excellence for Food Technology and Research (CEFTER) hosted by Benue State University, Nigeria calls for Abstract and participation in its West and Central Africa Post- Harvest Congress and Exhibition (WCAPHCE 2018) themed “Upscaling of Post Harvest activities in West and Central Africa” from September 17- 21, 2018 at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, Nigeria.

This Congress seeks to enumerate constrains and proffer solutions to post harvest challenges along the value chain for various crops and also promote knowledge in addressing the food system for healthy and sustainable diets.

All individuals and industries in the Agriculture and Food Technology sector are warmly invited to participate. For Registration and other details please contact Dr. Sylvester Adejo via email soadejo@gmail.com or  +234(0)80545557652

Others who are interested in exhibiting their products should also contact the number below by 31st August, 2018.

Peter Dawa
+234(0)706 796 7665

3rd WACCBIP Research Conference

The West Africa Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) hosted its third annual Research Conference from July 18 – 20, 2018 at its new office complex in the University of Ghana.

The Conference which aims to showcase the talent and quality of young African scientists and to provide a platform for the dissemination of research conducted by fellows at the Centre and by visiting scientists from its global network of collaborators.

The three-day conference held under the theme “Translating Molecular Research into Healthcare Solutions for Africa”, brought together world-class scientists from Africa, Europe, and North America, who conduct research into tropical diseases, including malaria and Buruli ulcer, that are prevalent in Africa. The conference afforded young scientists at the Centre the opportunity to interact with seasoned scientists, giving them better insight into their research projects and opening them up to new perspectives from experienced researchers.

In his welcome address, Director of WACCBIP, Prof. Gordon Awandare, explained that the Centre was established with the vision to build and support development of dynamic and internationally competitive talent. He reiterated the Centre’s commitment towards the provision of high-end facilities suitable for advanced training and research and cited the construction of the new WACCBIP building as one of the key achievements towards reaching the Centre’s overarching goal.

He also highlighted the achievements of the Centre saying, “Since we started, we have given fellowships to 90 master’s students, 50 PhD students, and 12 postdocs. That is the largest biomedical training research programme in West Africa. Nobody has done that in the last four years.”

He further entreated Government to provide incentives to encourage the creation of research units in the private sector to absorb the pool of research scientists produced by research institutions across the country.

Also speaking at the event, Professor Keith Gull, Professor at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at the University of Oxford and Chair of the WACCBIP International Advisory Board, was impressed with WACCBIP’s sustained development of its research and training activities since its establishment.

He explained that WACCBIP’s vision does not end at training scientists but extends to ensuring that their training is translated to relevant research output for the future.“It has always been the vision of WACCBIP and the Department to balance research and teaching, and that is really a critical part of a research-led education. Some of you are here for a degree; a master’s or a PhD. I think that’s one of the least important things about what you’re doing at WACCBIP. You’re not here [only] to get a degree; you are here to engage and end up with something far more precious; it’s called an education.” Prof. Gull said.

Prof. Francis Dodoo, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Development at University of Ghana, who chaired the opening ceremony, expressed his delight at the impact WACCBIP has made in mobilising resources to attract a high calibre of scientists to the University.

He said, “WACCBIP is demonstrating precisely the impact an African Centre of Excellence can have by way of contributing to the transformation of our University. This is in line with [the University’s vision of] attaining world class status with respect to quality, quantum, and impact of research.

He added that WACCBIP played an important role in the reorganisation of ORID’s activities as they allowed for collective cultivation of the Centre’s resources within the University.

Other speakers at the event were Dr. Ben Botwe, President of Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and Dr. Lydia Mosi, Head of Department of Biochemistry Cell and Molecular Biology.

The West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) was set up in 2013 with funding from the Government of Ghana through World Bank’s Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project. Since its inception, WACCBIP has grown into a leading Centre of Excellence, building global partnerships with world-class research institutions and funding organisations. The Centre aims to improve diagnosis, prevention, and control of infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa by providing advanced-level training and research excellence on the cell and molecular biology of infectious pathogens.

3rd Biennial International Conference of Dryland, 2018

The African Centre of Excellence in Dryland Agriculture (CDA) Bayero University, Nigeria in collaboration with the International Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) are organizing the third Biennial International Conference of Drylands with the theme; Resource Constraints, Conflicts and Changing Climate in the Drylands: Options for Attaining the SDGs. The Conference will be held from September 24-28, 2018 at CDA campus, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.
The Conference aims to bring together scientists, farmers, policy makers, civil society organizations and private sector stakeholders from across the globe to examine how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be attained in the drylands in the face of resource scarcity, climate change and the emerging conflicts.
For further information kindly visit www.drylandconference.org
Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 10th August, 2018

WACCI graduates its first cohort of MPhil students under the ACE Project

 

The West African Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI), has graduated its first cohort of MPhil students under the ACE Project. The Center on July 20 graduated nine (9) MPhil and 14 PhD students.

The first graduating cohort of 9 MPhil Seed Science and Technology students were enrolled under the World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) project in August 2015. This 2-year innovative programme was developed in recognition of the dire need of the ailing seed industry in West and Central Africa.

In an interview, Professor Eric Y. Danquah, the founding Director of the Center noted that WACCI is exerting huge impact across the African sub-region and has shown in eleven years that quality plant breeding education is undoubtedly a smart development investment. The Centre continues to produce the much needed human resources who are at the forefront of agricultural transformation and plant breeding activities across sub-Saharan Africa. He stated that, these graduates have been equipped with entrepreneurial skills to enable them set-up and manage seed businesses which will ultimately transform the seed industry in the sub-region.

He also added, “WACCI is evolving into an Agriculture Innovations and Entrepreneurship institution to generate game-changing products needed for the inclusive transformation of African agriculture and urged Governments of Africa and development partners to prioritize institutions like WACCI for sustained core funding in order to transform agriculture in Africa.”

Prof. Danquah further noted that, a multipurpose building to be completed in August 2018 will provide world class research, teaching and learning facilities needed to attract strategic partners from around the world to make WACCI a preeminent global institution for world class agricultural research and training.

The West African Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI), hosted by the University of Ghana is one of the Agriculture Centers under the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) Project. The Centre has since inception, enrolled 114 PhD students in Plant Breeding and 36 students in MPhil Seed Science and Technology. A total of 66 PhD and 9 MPhil students would have graduated from the WACCI programme. Also, as the pre-eminent Centre for plant breeding education in Africa, WACCI has over 60 improved varieties of staples such as maize, sweetpotato, rice, cassava, groundnut, cowpea and taro with the potential of increasing Africa’s food production have been released by our graduates in their respective home countries.

Workshop on Climate Change and Sustainable Environment

The Africa Center of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE) located at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in collaboration with Galilee International Management institute, Israel is hosting an International Course on Climate Change and Sustainable Environment.

The workshop is aimed at exposing participants to recent developments in the area of Climate Change and build a critical mass of next generation experts with robust understanding to address climate change issues.

The training commences on Monday August 6 and ends on Friday August 11, 2018 at the International Scholars Resource Centre, Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

This Workshop is targeted at administrators from academia and research Institutes, Deans, Heads of Departments, Researchers and government and private sector stakeholders in Climate Change and Sustainable Environment.

Interested participant should visit www.ceadese.unaab.edu.ng or call (+234) – 08035640707, 08034382476, 08020565881, 08069311558

Application Deadline: Friday 27th July, 2018.

Workshop Fee: US$ 200 (70,000 Naira)

 

WACCI receives International Accreditation

The West African Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI), which is one of the 22 African Centers of Excellence under the World Bank funded ACE project, has received International Accreditation for its postgraduate Programmes from AQAS, Germany.

The Agency for Quality Assurance through Accreditation of Study Programs (AQAS), a German- based institution noted for accreditation of excelling Higher Education Institutions has accredited two of WACCI’s post graduate Programmes – PhD in Plant Breeding and MPhil in Seed Science and Technology.

The International Accreditation was granted following a thorough evaluation conducted on WACCI, using the standards and guidelines for quality assurance approved by the European Association for Quality Assurance, European Students Union and the European University Association, among others.

Additionally, a panel of experts made up of Prof. Robert Hänsch, Technical University of Braunschweig, Gemany; Prof. Dr. Michael Kruse, University of Hohenheim, Germany; Dr. Victor Afari-Sefa, World Vegetable Center, Benin; Jorge Moreno Herrero, University of Mainz; Doris Herrmann and Dr. Dorothee Groeger, AQAS, visited the Centre from March 12-16, 2018 to inspect facilities and hold discussions with the Management and stakeholders of WACCI, following an assessment of a Self-Evaluation Report submitted by WACCI to AQAS.

Based on the report of the expert panel and the discussions of the Accreditation Commission at its 71st meeting, the Commission decided that the programmes, Seed Science and Technology (MPhil) and Plant Breeding (PhD) offered by the Centre were accredited. This was confirmed in a letter to WACCI, signed by Dr. Dorothee Groeger of AQAS. The accreditation is valid until September 2024.

Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, Director of WACCI has said that this accreditation will pave way for strategic collaborations with institutions in Europe and also increase the Centre’s capacity to boost research and help ensure food security in the sub-region. He noted, “We are currently restructuring with a focus on research for impact. This international accreditation should attract strategic partners from Europe and beyond to work with us in product development using modern science for the efficient and effective development of game-changing products for the inclusive transformation of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa,”

He added, that in order to facilitate the “Ghana and Africa beyond aid” agenda, there should be increased investments in research “We see our work impacting food and nutrition security in Ghana and beyond in the next few years. We believe the Ghana and Africa beyond aid agenda would not be a mirage if governments invest heavily in the food value chains. Innovation should be a high priority. Let’s put some funds in the home for innovations, our universities, and let’s challenge our scientists to deliver,” he said.

The Team Leader of the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project, Mr. Andreas Blom also added that, this is an “an indisputable testament to the quality of WACCI’s education”

WACCI currently runs one of the largest PhD educational programme in Africa with 62 students at various stages of training. It has also evolved into a top-tier plant breeding education institution globally and a leader in maize improvement in West and Central Africa.

 

 

 

 

Biodiversity Celebrated at CEA- CCBAD

The Africa Center of Excellence for Climate Change, Biodiversity and Agriculture (CEA-CCBAD) hosted by Felix Houphouët-Boigny University, La Cote d’Ivoire celebrated World Biodiversity Day on May 22, 2018.

To commemorate this day, the students initiated a series of activities that began with a conference on Saturday, May 19 under the theme “Celebrating 25 years of Action for Biodiversity”. The event was finalized on May 22, 2018, with the planting of trees on the Bingerville Scientific and Innovation Center campus to mark the International Day of Biodiversity. The event was supported by the WABES students.

WABES is an institution advocating the safeguarding of biodiversity, used this platform to educate and inform the participants on the importance of biodiversity in the ecosystem. Also, WABES pledged their continuous commitment to raising awareness on the usefulness of biodiversity.

The Biodiversity Day Celebrations was attended by the Coordinator of CEA-CCBAD, Professor Kone Daouda, and the Deputy Director of CEA-CCBAD, Professor Konate Souleymane. Also present was Director of the Scientific and Innovation Center, Felix Houphouët-Boigny University, Professor AKE, Director of WABES and students of the institution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACE stakeholders convene to discuss Progress and way forward for the Project

Opening
 
The Ninth ACE Project Workshop hosted by 2iE in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso featured plenary and parallel sessions. 
Participants were addressed by the General Director of 2iE, Professor Mady Koanda, the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities, Prof. Etienne Ehile and the World Bank team, represented by Himdat Bayusuf, who provided update on the milestones achieved by the ACEs and commended their efforts in implementing the project so far. It was mentioned that since the inception of the Project, about 1600 PhDs and 6000 Masters Students have been enrolled and 12 International Accreditation attained.
 
Other dignitaries who addressed participants included the ECOWAS Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Leopoldo Amado, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of Burkina- Faso, Prof. Alkassoum Maiga (Representative) and the World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso,  Mr. Cheick F. Kante (Representative).
 
The plenary for day two hosted the following sessions: ACE Project Progress Update by Professor Jonathan Mba; Aggregate M&E Results Progress – including disbursement, fund utilization and DLR achievement by Mrs Adeline Addy and Mrs Himdat Bayusuf; ACE 1 Supervision Mission Findings and a Question and Answer Session.
 
Summary of Discussions from Parallel Sessions
 
Working Group 1A (STEM 1) – CEFOR, CCBAD, PAMI, RWESCK, CEA MEM| Experts – Prof. M. Diallo and Prof. Gos Ekhaguere
 
Centers in this session discussed the fundamental issue of sustaining themselves at the end of the ACE project.  The promotion of university –industry linkages and attracting industry players to invest money into the ACEs was also discussed.  They agreed that the focus here was to approach industry with a win-win concept/proposal following a needs assessment process.
 
Working Group 1B (STEM 2) – CETIC, ENSEA, MITIC, SMA, OAK | Expert – Gen. X Michel
Each center presented their roadmaps, what they seek to achieve and how they plan to sustain the project after the World Bank funding among others. The expert noted that all centers had adopted a similar framework to that of the ACE project with a focus on education, research, linkages with industry etc. They were prompted that though this was a good approach, they could explore other frameworks in finalizing their plans.  ACEs were encouraged to be accurate in their strategy in terms of what they seek to achieve and be aware of competition in the market and strive to be different.
 
 
Working Group 2: Agric ACEs| Experts – Prof. R. Wohome, Dr. C. Larsen, Prof. Abubakar Akpa
The Agric ACEs discussed three key issues as follows 1) Exit strategy for the World Bank funding/sustainability of the ACEs after the end of the ACE1 project a) The Experts also advised ACEs to quickly assess how much DLI amount is remaining and plan a strategy to retrieve the money b) ACEs were encouraged to ensure that money given to them is properly spent and properly accounted for. c) Since there is the possibility that there may some money left unspent at the end of the ACE project, they are proposing that the World Bank sets up an oversight team to ensure that such monies are spent within 6months after the end of the project
2) The Agric team also worked on a joint advert being prepared to market their centers and attract students from different countries. 
3) Lastly, the team discussed a joint research and development proposal to be developed with a focus on promoting mobility and sustainability
 
Working Group 3: Health ACEs – ACEGID, WACCBIP, ACENTDFB, ACEPRD, CERHI, CEA-SAMEF| Expert – Prof. M Niescierenko
The various Health ACEs gave updates on progress made by their centres and the way forward. Based on the presentations, health expert, Michelle Niescierenko advised that the ACEs develop a plan to commercialize their services. ACES were encouraged to intensify efforts in attaining international laboratory accreditation to enable them reach a higher level of service commercialization.
A sustainability planning guide was shared by the Health expert to help the ACEs identify costs related to sustaining the centers core programming (education and research) and the centers operations (administrative and coordination).
 
Day 2 also featured a session on the ACE Impact Steering Committee Meeting which brought together country focal points, Project Steering Committee members, AAU and the World Bank teams. There were also ACE Operations Help Desks that focused on (i) ACE M&E Verification led by Mrs Adeline Addy and Dr Moustapha Lo and (ii) ACE DLI 2.8 and safeguards led by Maud Kouadio
 
EVENING SESSION
All participants were treated to a scrumptious and entertainment-filled dinner hosted by the Government of Burkina Faso at the Laico Hotel. We are extremely grateful for this kind gesture by the Government of Burkina Faso
 
Please access some photos from Day 2 here –
 

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