For immediate release
African Centers of Excellence converge in Djibouti from 18th to 27th February 2019 to strengthen research, development programmes and innovations
Djibouti, 14 February 2019. The first Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE I) project was launched in Western and Central Africa by the World Bank in 2014 to support higher education sectors specializing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), agriculture and health. In 2016, the second ACE project (ACE II) was launched in Eastern and Southern Africa. The ACEs are an innovative regional response to make higher education more relevant to Africa’s development.
As part of ACE I, 22 centers have been financed by the World Bank for a total amount of US$165 million. These are currently being implemented in universities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo and are producing excellent results. ACE II has 24 centers across Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia for an amount of US$148 million. Based on the successes of ACE I and it being in its final year of implementation, 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 Centers; and 5 Colleges and Schools of Engineering for funding through a new phase called “ACE IMPACT” (pending both World Bank and AFD Boards of Directors approvals). The new project will be implemented in universities in 12 countries, all nine participating countries under ACE1 with three additional countries including Djibouti, Guinea and Niger. ACE Impact will strengthen post-graduate training and applied research in existing fields and support new fields that are essential for Africa’s economic growth.
From 18 to 27 February 2019, the centers and their partners will meet in Djibouti for the inaugural ACE Impact workshop (a Bootcamp) to provide the platform for the centers to obtain guidance on project preparation, exchange information on their respective programs, build networks and forge partnerships to ensure the successful implementation of the project. It will also create an opportunity for the new ACEs to interact and learn from the existing centers. The ACE I centers will also have the opportunity to discuss ongoing activities and progress, share experiences and strengthen their impact on the continent’s development challenges, as they work towards the closing of the ACE I project.
The event will be officially launched on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at the Kempinski Hotel in Djibouti, starting at 8:30 am, while the rest of the activities will take place at the University of Djibouti.
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Please download the Full Press Release in French