BY DAYO ADESULU
Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) is set to storm Nigeria on 25-28 of February for its biannual workshop on capacity building of higher education institutions in Africa.
Authorities of National Universities Commission, NUC made this known in a release to TheCheer News.
According to the NUC, participating universities in African countries comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. On the whole, there are 53 Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACEs) in Africa.
The Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project is a World Bank initiative in collaboration with governments of participating countries.
It said: ”ACE aims to support Higher Education institutions in specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Agriculture, and Health.
”It is the first World Bank project aimed at the capacity building of higher education institutions in Africa.”
The purpose of the workshop that’s bid to hold at Sheraton Hotel and National Universities Commission in Abuja this week is to provide the platform for the ACEs to exchange information on their respective programmes, build networks and forge partnerships to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
The World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the National Universities Commission, Nigeria are other stakeholders expected at the workshop.
Besides, many opportunities will be offered to the media to interact with the ACEs, discover their programs and results achieved, as well as their perspectives to make higher education more relevant to Africa’s development.
The event will also mark the closing of the first phase of the ACE Project (ACE I) and to strengthen the implementation of ACE Impact.
Recall that the first phase (ACE I) was launched in 2014 with 22 Centres of Excellence in Nine (9) West and Central African countries; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.
The Project aims to promote regional specialization among participating universities in areas that address specific common regional development challenges.
It also aims to strengthen the capacities of these universities to deliver high-quality training and applied research as well as meet the demand for skills required for Africa’s development.
The second phase (ACE II) was launched in East and Southern Africa with 24 centres across Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Based on the initial successes, the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) in collaboration with the African governments, launched the ACE Impact Project in 2018 to strengthen post-graduate training and applied research in existing fields and support new fields that are essential for Africa’s economic growth.
There are 43 ACEs (25 new ones and 18 from ACE I); 5 Emerging Centers;1 “top-up” centre in Social Risk Management; and 5 Colleges and Schools of Engineering.
The new areas include sustainable cities; sustainable power and energy; social sciences and education; transport; population health and policy; herbal medicine development and regulatory sciences; public health; applied informatics and communication; and pastoral production.