Daily Summaries of ACE Events in Dakar

The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project organized its 11th and 2nd ACE I and ACE Impact workshops respectively. The events took place at the King Fahd and Radisson Blu hotels in Dakar, Senegal from September 24- 27, 2019. The workshop was preceded by Project Steering Committee meetings held on September 23 at the World Bank Office in Dakar. Below are summaries of the daily happenings.

Click to read  September 23 & 24 summaries (English)

Click to read September 23 & 24 summaries (French)

Click to read  September 25 summary (English)

Click to read September 25 summary(French)

Click to read  September 26 & 27 summary ( French)

Click to read September 26 summary (English)

Click to read September 27 summary (English)

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

ACECoR Calls for PhD and Masters Applications

The Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) hosted by the University of Cape Coast, Ghana has issued out a call for Applications into its MPhil and PhD Programmes for 2019/2020 academic year. Programmes offered are; Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Fisheries Science, Oceanography and Limnology.

Application deadline is 8th July, 2019. Interested applicants should kindly visit https://acecoradmissions.ucc.edu.gh/ to apply

ACE Impact in motion !

Following the success of the first phase of the ACE Project, the World Bank and governments of participating countries recognized the need to escalate the success and expand the benefits accrued to the Centres and their countries. Consequently, the third phase of the Project titled the ACE for Development Impact (or simply ACE
Impact) has been approved by World Bank. There are 12 participating countries; including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, The Gambia, Togo, Niger and Nigeria.
ACE Impact seeks to increase the quality and relevance of post- graduate education in selected universities through regional specialization, applied research, upfront university-industry linkage and better regional and international

In September this year, a Call for Proposals was advertised in national newspapers in the participating countries. Subsequently, a hundred and ten (110) proposals were submitted to AAU by the higher education agencies of participating countries consisting of new and renewal proposals (from existing ACEs).

These proposals were carefully reviewed by experts in the various thematic fields of Health, Agriculture, Environment, Social Sciences and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Following the desk and remote panel evaluations, 65 proposals were shortlisted, and onsite visits were undertaken to the higher educational institutions which submitted them. The goal was to find out more about the institutions in terms of their readiness and commitment to host the potential Centres of Excellence.

To finalize the process will be the selection of the ACE Impact Centres of Excellence by the Project Steering Committee at its meeting at the AAU Secretariat, Accra, Ghana on November 2, 2018

GCHERA celebrates WACCI Director

On 28 October Professor Eric Danquah Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana received the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2018 at a ceremony at Nanjing Agricultural University, Peoples Republic of China. With this award GCHERA (Global Confederation of Higher Education
Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences) recognized Professor Danquah’s exceptional and significant life time achievements in the field of agricultural and life sciences. John Kennelly, President of GCHERA, in presenting
the award said: “Eric Danquah established the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), led a maize breeding program which has released three high yielding maize varieties in Ghana, created the Seed Science and Technology International MPhil degree program, and significantly contributed to the establishment of
the Biotechnology Centre at the University of Ghana.

The establishment of WACCI by Prof Danquah provided an environment where young people were inspired to pursue careers in plant breeding. Over 100 students from 19 African countries have had the life transforming opportunity to receive a world class education in plant breeding. His encouragement and support of women
to study in this area has been especially noteworthy as today over one third of the students enrolled in the program are women. Many of the graduates have gone on to develop improved varieties of commercial and indigenous
crops in their home countries. These highly trained professionals will continue to produce improved varieties of the staple crops of Africa for decades, thus extending the legacy of WACCI in improving the lives of small farmers as
well as contributing to global food and nutritional security.

The World Bank and Association of African Universities congratulate Prof. Danquah on this remarkable achievement.

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.



Prof. Jonathan Mba


+233-30-277-4495 / 761588






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

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.





Joint ACE I & ACE II Project Workshop of the World Bank Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project| Accra, Ghana| November 7-10, 2017

The Association of African Universities (AAU), and the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), will host the 1st Joint ACE I & ACE II Project Workshop of the World Bank Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project.

This is scheduled to take place at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in  Accra, Ghana, from 7th – 9th November, 2017.  The Meetings of the Project Steering Committee (ACE I) and the Regional Steering Committee (ACE II) will take place on Friday, 10th November, 2017 after the Joint Project Workshop.

This is an important workshop where ACE I and ACE II members will learn and share experiences with each other, and network for mutual benefit mainly on verification of Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs), disbursement process, international accreditation and overall ACE project activities.

ACE I is made up of countries in West and Central Africa (Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and The Gambia) whiles ACE II is made up of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia).

The Association of African Universities (AAU) is the ACE I Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) and the  National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), is the regulatory body for the ACEs in Ghana.

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