Africa Centers of Excellence Project to be launched tomorrow
Centers meet to create a roadmap for implementation ahead of the launch
Nairobi, October 25, 2016:Africa Centers of Excellence (ACEs) participating in the Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project (ACE II) are meeting in Nairobi, Kenya to finalisethe project preparatory phase and kick off implementation.In attendance are leaders of the centers and vice chancellors of the hosting institutions. Preparations to get the centers ready including their respective implementation plans, environmental and social management plans, and meeting effectiveness conditions have been ongoing for a year.
ACE II will strengthen 24 competitively selected centers to deliver quality, market-relevant post-graduate education, and build collaborative research capacity in ﬁve regional priority areas: industry, agriculture, health, education and applied statistics.The five year project is financed by the World Bank with US$140m in form of IDA Credit to eight participating countries. In addition, the Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), which is the Regional Facilitation Unit for the project will receive anIDA Grant totaling US$8m to facilitate and coordinate the project.
Speaking at the opening session of the technical and advisory meeting, Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje, Executive Secretary, IUCEA congratulated the 24 centers on being selected from103 other applicants. “Being here today means that you are the best,” he said. He reminded them of the urgency to meet effectiveness conditions in order to receive funds and start implementation and insisted that “the time we are losing now is lost forever.”
Once each Center’s government signs the legal agreement with the World Bank, the Center must meet two Effectiveness Conditions before it can receive funds to implement its proposal. These are: The signing of a Performance and Funding Agreement (PFA) between the Africa Center of Excellence (ACE) and the government of the country where it is located, andestablishment of a National Steering Committee (NSC).
Dr.Sajitha Bashir, Practice Manager for Eastern Africa, Education Global Practice, World Bank said that the Centers of Excellence were among the best in Africagiven the rigorous process of selection and that the spirit of ACE II is to innovate and solvereal development challenges facing Africa. She called on the center leaders and Vice Chancellors to embrace the same spirit.
Tomorrow (October 26), the ACE II Project will be officially launched at the Intercontinental Nairobi at 2 pm. Participating countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
For more information visit http://www.ace2.iucea.org/