Ghana is hosting the 8th Project Steering Committee Meeting and the 5th Workshop of the Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) Project at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra from 16th to 19th May 2016. About 200 participants are expected from all the 22 ACEs.
The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project, is a World Bank sponsored initiative aimed at promoting regional specialization in disciplinary fields (such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Health, and Agriculture) that address regional development challenges, as well as facilitating the delivery of high quality training and applied research, and meet the skills demand of the regional labour market.
Phase I of the ACE Project focuses on countries in West and Central Africa, while Phase II focuses on countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The ACE Project has two main components. Component 1 seeks to strengthen the capacity of 22 competitively selected institutions as centres of excellence to deliver regional and quality training and applied research, in partnership with regional and international academic institutions and industry related organizations.
Under Component 2, the objective is to support regional capacity building activities, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and develop regional policies. In addition, to boost regional collaboration and strengthen higher education institutions, support will be provided to The Gambia so that its institutions can purchase education services from the centres of excellence established under Component 1.
There are 22 ACEs in nine countries in West and Central Africa as follows: Benin Republic (1 ACE), Burkina Faso (1 ACE), Cameroun (1 ACE), Cote d’Ivoire (3 ACEs), Ghana (3 ACEs), Nigeria (10 ACEs) Senegal (2 ACEs), Togo (1 ACE), and The Gambia that is buying services from the 22 ACEs.
The project which began in 2013 has held 7 Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meetings and 4 ACE Project workshops. The first workshop was held in Abuja, Nigeria in May 2014 where the project was also officially launched. The second workshop took place in Yaounde, Cameroun in November 2014, the third in Banjul, The Gambia in May 2015 and the fourth one in Cotonou, Benin Republic in November 2015.
In addition to the 22 ACEs partaking in these events, the World Bank Task Team Leaders from all the participating countries are also expected. Subject area experts of STEM, Health and Agriculture are also joining the discussions.
Discussions will centre on progress made in project implementation since disbursement of funds, challenges encountered, revenue generation efforts, sharing of experiences and next steps.
The Centres of Excellence in Ghana are hosted by the University of Ghana, Legon, (West African Centre for Crop Improvement, WACCI) and West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, WACCBIP). The third Centre is hosted by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (Centre for Water and Environmental Sanitation).
PROF JONATHAN MBA