Malawi launches two Africa Centers of Excellence
Lilongwe (March 01, 2017) - Two Africa Centers of Excellence that are participating in the Eastern and Southern Africa Centers of Excellence Project (ACE II) were launched in the Malawi capital, Lilongwe, on Wednesday March 1, 2017. Malawi has two centers - Center of Excellence for Aquaculture and Fisheries (Aquafish) hosted at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Africa Center for Public Health and Herbal Medicine (CEPHEM) at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi. The two centers will receive $12 million over five years to implement their proposals.
The five-year project seeks to strengthen 24 competitively selected centers in Eastern and Southern Africa to deliver top quality and relevant post-graduate education and also build collaborative research capacity in ﬁve regional priority areas: industry (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), agriculture, health, education and applied statistics. The $140 million project is financed by the World Bank in form of credit to eight participating countries. These include Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
“As a government we are excited that Malawi has got two Centers of Excellence,” said Hon. Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano, Minister of Education, Science and Technology. “The government is very committed and will support our institutions so that they can participate in knowledge generation and training of post-graduate students,” he said.
“It is expected that ACE institutions will produce measurable results, increase quality and quantity of graduates both Masters and PhD, increase quality and quantity of the research as well as increase collaborations and partnership with industry and other higher education institutions,” said Toby Linden, Lead Education Specialist at the World Bank.
To maintain and ensure focus on the results, the project uses an innovative results based financing approach. Funding for each center is tied to the results and the achievement of those results.
The Center of Excellence for Aquaculture and Fisheries Science (AquaFish) seeks to train a pool of skilled and innovative graduate students to contribute towards improved fish-based food and incomes from aquaculture and fisheries in Africa. The Ag. Vice Chancellor of Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR) who is also the Center Leader, Prof. Emmanuel Kaunda, noted that Sub Saharan Africa is lagging behind in fisheries and aquaculture and is producing far much less fish. “With this program we should transform the aquaculture and fisheries landscape. We will be a real center only when whatever we do translates into more fish, more income and more graduates that can transform the sector.”
The African Center of Excellence for Public Health and Herbal Medicine (ACEPHEM) will establish basic and applied research programs for African scientists to engage in high-impact research projects in urban public health on the one hand and herbal medicine in collaboration with traditional healers on the other.
“I wish to assure our partners that the project will be efficiently and effectively executed, consistent with our aspirations,” said Prof. John Kalenga Saka, Vice Chancellor, University of Malawi.
Partners from different institutions attended the ceremony including the University of Ibadan, Mbarara University, Mzuzu University and World Fish.