The Association of African Universities (AAU), the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU), of the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project, is pleased to announce the conditional selection of 44 centres of excellence in 12 participating countries in West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo) under the ACE for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project.

West and Central African countries, with support from the World Bank and the Association of African Universities, launched the regional Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project in 2014. Building upon the successful implementation of the ACE 1 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. 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 USD 300 million, with funding from the World Bank and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD).

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 that were submitted to the RFU by higher education institutions from the participating countries. Proposals were subjected to several stages of evaluation including: (i) desk reviews in which each proposal was reviewed by two experts in Accra, Ghana; (ii) external evaluation in which each proposal was remotely assessed by a subject matter specialist, and (iii) a site & leadership evaluation in which a team of experts visited shortlisted proposal sites to ascertain the readiness of the institutions in terms of governance, leadership, and infrastructure.

At the end of the rigorous and transparent evaluation exercise, the following proposals have been conditionally selected as centres of excellence by the ACE Impact Ministerial Project Steering Committee at its meeting in Accra, Ghana, on Friday, 2nd November 2018. This Committee consisted of five Ministers in charge of Higher education and seven high-level government representatives from the participating governments.

The final selection of the Centers is conditional upon: (i) the approval of the financing from the external financiers (World Bank and the French Development Agency) and availability of sufficient financing for all the proposals; (ii) the selected universities incorporate the recommendations of the evaluators into their implementation plans, and (iii) the universities demonstrate sufficient capacity to manage the funds for their intended purpose. For the selected centers where all of these conditions are met, it is planned that they will be approved for funding by April 2019.

Download the complete press release with the complete list of selected list Centres of excellence ACE IMPACT PROJECT SELECTION PRESS RELEASE

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