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West African Universities to Hold Workshop in Abuja

Written by Akeem Alao

About 53 Universities in 12 West African countries have planned a 4-day workshop in Abuja.

The workshop will hold next week. It seeks to discuss ways to strengthen the implementation and impact of the African Centres of Excellence (ACE) project.

This was disclosed in a joint statement signed by the Senior World Bank External Officer, Mr. Mansir Nasir, ACE Communication Officer, Mrs. Adebukola Olatunji and Association of African Universities’ Millicent Afriyie Kyei in Abuja.

The event will have in attendance, representatives from the ACE centres, World Bank, the French Development Agency, (AFD), the Association of African Universities (AAU), and NUC officials.

The workshop will create an opportunity for the institutions to exchange information on their respective programmes. Build networks and forge partnerships to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

ACE, a World Bank initiative, was first launched in 2014 with 22 Centres in nine West and Central African countries.

The countries involved include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

“Based on the initial successes, the World Bank and the French Development Agency in collaboration with 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.

“Currently, there are 43 ACE; 25 new ones and 18 from ACE I. Five emerging centres, one top- up centre in Social Risk Management and five 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,” the statement said.

The initiative also seeks 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.

It is the first World Bank project aimed at the capacity building of higher education institutions in Africa. It was established in collaboration with governments of participating countries to support specialization. In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), agriculture, and health.


About the author

Akeem Alao

Akeem Alao trained as a language teacher. He graduated from Adeniran Ogunsanya college of Education where he studied English/Yoruba Languages and Ekiti State University where he obtained a degree in English Education.

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