Djibouti Participates in the Young African Scientific Talent Programme in Paris

Djibouti Participates in the Young African Scientific Talent Program in Paris

The Centre of Excellence for Transport and Logistics (CEALT) hosted by the University of Djibouti was represented in the African Scientific Talents at the City of Science and Industry in Paris from 17th  to 22nd October 2021.  Dr Abdou Idris Omar, a researcher and Bioclimate lecturer at the university represented the centre in a unique opportunity to interact with fellow researchers, and explore prospects for future collaborations.  

Dr Abdou Idris Omar image
Dr Abdou Idris Omar

Dr. Omar was among the 32 young African scientists – 15 women and 17men under the age of 35 from 20 African countries (Angola, Guinea, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia, Djibouti, Madagascar, Senegal, Egypt, Mali, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Tanzania, Ghana, Mozambique and Chad) selected to participate in the event. 

The researchers had the opportunity to make presentations on the scientific projects they have undertaken, whilst also engage with the Universcience teams  and other key stakeholders in the science fraternity.  

Participants visited various tourist sites including the planetarium of the City of Science and Industry, and the mediation rooms of the Sparks of the Palace of Discovery, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle,the Musée de l’Homme, the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution and the Muséum’s gardens. 

The event was supported by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the network of French Embassies in Africa, the Next Einstein Forum Network and Campus France. 

ACE in Focus: Get to know the Emerging Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport in Djibouti

ACE in Focus: Get to know the Emerging Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport in Djibouti

The Africa Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport (CEALT) is one of the two emerging centers of Excellence located in Djibouti, and one of the five new emerging centers of excellence under the ACE Impact Project.  The republic of Djibouti places a high premium on education, seeing it as an essential tool for Djibouti’s growth and development. Given the country’s strategic location (the Suez Canal, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Shipping route) and its significance in global trade and international shipping, CEALT is top priority for the Government as the country continues to leverage its natural positioning to its advantage.


CEALT is hosted by the University of Djibouti, in addition to a second Center – the University of Djibouti School of Engineering and aims to become a regional logistics hub in Africa, specializing in the field of logistics, transport, and applied digitization. In line with the ACE Impact Project, the center has been working to improve the quality, quantity, and development impact of postgraduate education in Africa.


Since its establishment, the Africa Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport has continued to be an active player in the logistics sector by strengthening the capacity of human resources on the continent through training, education (at Masters and PhD levels), research, and services to the society in the form of community engagement. It practices an active pedagogy, with a strong component of exposure to problem-solving, case studies, and internships in companies. This Center of Excellence prioritizes the promotion of women’s access to higher education and the investment of efforts to increase the number of female students and faculty until equality is achieved


Composition of the Center

The Africa Center of Excellence for Logistics and Transport is made up of two (2) key components – CELT (Logistics and Transport) and Co-E (College of Engineering). It is equipped with an infrastructure of international standards and welcomes motivated Master and Doctorate students who are selected through competitive examinations administered by the University of Djibouti.


Key Objectives and Expected Results

CEALT aims to provide the Republic of Djibouti, as well as the countries of the region, with highly competent and innovative technicians, specialists, engineers and executives in the strategic development sectors of Africa such as Logistics, Transport, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. CEALT offers high-quality engineering training which responds to the real needs identified in promising socio-economic sectors such as transport systems, electrical and energy engineering (GEE), civil engineering (GC), and Data Sciences (MDS). The center has a target to promote research within the University of Djibouti, and beyond, through the production of high-level scientific research articles.


Key Achievements

  • Recruitment of the first batch of 9 doctoral students from the University of Djibouti
  • Reinforcement of the master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Reinforcement of the master’s degree in Civil Engineering
  • Reinforcement of the Master in Logistics and Transport
  • Establishment of a Masters in Data Sciences in 2019 academic year
  • The establishment of two Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Civil Engineering Laboratories, (FabLAb)
  • Development of smart classes and fully equipped state of the art computer rooms.



The center is managed by Dr Abdoulkader Ibrahim Idriss who serves as the center leader. Additionally, CEALT relies on two advisory councils – scientific experts to validate the quality of its academic approach, and industrial experts to validate the relevance of its approach to the needs of businesses and the socio-economic sector.


How the ACE Impact Project is Transforming the Center

Under one of the key project subcomponents, ACE Impact is strengthening, through partnerships, both undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes that will provide training to their students and develop skills which are useful in addressing the national development needs of Djibouti. The center is also receiving support for activities including regional technical assistance to strengthen academic programmes and curriculum design; faculty scholarships and training; costs of visiting faculty; technical assistance for institutional policies and practices; improving teaching and research resources; and other regional engagements. Overall, the project has helped improve networking and the broader learning environment of CEALT.



Contact CEALT here

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

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