44 universities chosen for ACE development impact project

Forty-four universities in 12 West and Central African countries have been conditionally selected as centres of excellence under a US$300 million World Bank and French Development Agency-funded project aimed at scaling up postgraduate education and applied research.

The institutions of higher learning that are set to benefit from the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project are in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

In a statement, the Association of African Universities and the Regional Facilitation Unit of the Africa Centres of Excellence Project said the selection is conditional upon incorporation by selected universities of the recommendations of the evaluators into implementation plans and the demonstration of sufficient capacity to manage the funds, among others.

The statement said an independent team of evaluators, consisting of members from the African educational and scientific community supported by diaspora and global technical experts, reviewed 105 proposals submitted by higher education institutions from participating countries.

With support from the World Bank and the Association of African Universities, the region launched the regional Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project in 2014. “Building upon the successful implementation of the ACE I Project, the World Bank is supporting the current ACE Impact Project which is focused on scaling up postgraduate education and applied research that are fundamental to economic growth in the region,” reads the statement.

“Further, the supported universities should meet global standards for quality of education, recruit students across the region and collaborate with other African universities. The total investment across the countries is expected to reach US$300 million.”