Skip to Main Navigation
Events

The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence: A Pathway towards Sustainable Development - High-Level Meetings with Partners

October 17-18, 2022
World Bank Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence: A Pathway towards Sustainable Development

The recording of the opening session will be available soon.

The recording of the opening session will be available soon.

Advancing Post-Graduate Education in Africa Through Regional Specialization and Collaboration in Agriculture, Health, Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

 

Background

The Africa Centers of Excellence project (ACEs) is the first large scale regional program funded by the World Bank in the higher education sector in Africa. It addresses higher-level skills development needs and innovative research requirements for the continent’s priority development sectors in five main areas: science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); agriculture; health; environment; applied social science and education. Since its start in 2014, the program has supported over 80 centers in more than 50 universities across 20 countries across the continent. Under the program, thousands of students –more than one third of whom are female-- are enrolled in postgraduate programs geared towards international standards in delivering quality training and regional specializations that are helping to fulfill labor market demands on the continent. The ACEs are undertaking high impact research that are addressing some of the region’s most pressing development challenges such as food insecurity, climate change and infectious diseases.

In 2019, in order to increase the impact of existing ACEs and extend the program to more centers, the World Bank, together with the French Development Agency, launched the third phase of the program: the “ACE for Development Impact project, ACE-Impact”. A total of 53 centers in 35 universities across 11 countries --Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo—participate in the ACE-Impact project to improve and accelerate the quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education. These ACEs have developed strong partnerships with universities and industries locally, regionally and all over the world, helping to generate support for student’s research programs, offering internships, and facilitating their access to the job market. The ACEs are playing a key role in increasing the number of sciences graduates needed to support Africa’s fast-growing economy.

About the event

In collaboration with the French Development Agency, AFD (co-financier of ACE-Impact), the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, IRD (facilitating ACEs’ regional networks), and the Association of African Universities, AAU (ACE-Impact Regional Facilitation Unit), the World Bank is organizing a two-day high-level event under the theme: “The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence: A Pathway towards Sustainable Development”. The event will take place at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC, on October 17 and 18, 2022, and will bring together the ACEs and the most influential decision makers in the development space to discuss the centers’ innovations and best practices at both national and regional levels, as well as their challenges and opportunities. Following the high-level event, the ACEs will travel on October 20 and 21, 2022 to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University for peer-learning and partnership opportunities. 

The event is co-funded by the World Bank, the AFD and the World Bank China Partnership Facility (CWPF).

Key Objectives

Main objective. Disseminate the impact of the ACEs to date in terms of their contributions, innovations, and best practices in addressing key regional development challenges and global crises that relate to public health, climate change, energy, agriculture and food security, digital transformation, and others.

Specific objectives:

  • Showcase the ACEs as a critical model for producing and increasing the number and quality of post-graduates and researchers needed to overcome Africa’s critical development challenges and support its growing economy.
  • Showcase regional collaboration, highlighting networking and knowledge exchange on research initiatives and promote the ACEs as a model for replication on the continent.
  • Identify opportunities for accelerating the development of quality higher education, research and innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the STEM fields, while enhancing regional integration and global partnerships.

Participants

  • Students and Center Directors from ACEs across Africa
  • Senior officials from the World Bank Group and co-organizers: French Development Agency (AFD); French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD); Association of African Universities (AAU)
  • Country Officials: African Finance Ministers / Ambassadors
  • Representatives of regional, international organizations, and foundations
  • Academic and Industry Partners: IBM; Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI); Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and others

All interested parties (policy makers, researchers, students, industrialists, private sector, etc.) who want to virtually connect can register to attend relevant activities of their choice on the Agenda.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2022

9.00 – 11.15am: OPENING CEREMONY --
Livestreaming will be available on this page
Venue: MC C2-350

  • 9.00 – 9.30am -- Welcome Address, by Mr. Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice President, West & Central Africa
  • 9.00 – 9.30am -- ­Opening Remarks, by Professor Olusola Oyewole, Secretary General, Association of African Universities (AAU); and Ms. Virginie Leroy, Deputy Executive Director, Human Development and Social Progress, AFD
  • 9.30 – 9.50am -- Keynote Address: Africa Centers of Excellence – A Pathway to Sustainable Development, by Dr. Peter Materu, Chief Programs Officer, Mastercard Foundation
  • 9.50 – 10.50am -- High-level Panel Discussion on Building Africa’s Future Competitive Workforce and Research Capacity

Panelists:

- ­Mr. Ousmane Diagana, WB Vice President, West and Central Africa
- Ms. Virginie Leroy,
Deputy Executive Director, Human Development and Social Progress, French Development Agency (AFD)
- Professor Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary, Ghana Tertiary Education Commission
- Ms. Lydia Logan,
Vice President for Global Education and Workforce Development, IBM

11.00 – 11.15am -- INTRODUCTION TO THE ACE PROGRAM
Venue: MC Atrium

11.15 – 12.30pm: POSTER EXHIBITION AND NETWORKING
Venue:
MC Atrium

Opening Remarks, by:

  • Mr. Ousmane Diagana, Vice President, West and Central Africa, World Bank
  • Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, Global Director, Education Global Practice, World Bank

Official Launch of the Session, by Mr. David Malpass, President, The World Bank Group

1.30 – 1.50pm: ACE PROJECTS: KEY RESULTS ACHIEVED, REGIONAL THEMATIC NETWORKS, AND PERSPECTIVES
Venue: MC C2-350

  • ­­Dr. Sylvia Mkandawire, Association of African Universities (AAU)
  • Ms. Corrine Brunon Meunier, Deputy Director, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) 

Register here to receive the connection link. Join online during the time of the event

1.50 – 3.05pm: ACE COVID-19 RESPONSE AND THE FUTURE OF DISEASE SURVEILLANCE -- Panel Discussion:
Venue: MC C2-350

Moderator: Dr. David Wilson, Program Director, Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice, World Bank

Panelists:

  • Prof. Christian Happi, African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Nigeria
  • Ms Ama Sika Menka, West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), Ghana
  • Prof Gerald Misinzo, Southern African Center of Excellence for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS), Tanzania
  • Dr. Sofonias Kifle, Africa Center for Disease Control (Africa CDC)
  • Prof. Pardis Sabeti, Harvard University

Register here to receive the connection link. Join online during the time of the event

3.25 – 4.40pm: TRAININGS, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY – Panel Discussion:
Venue: MC C2-350

Moderator: Mr. Simeon Ehui, Regional Director for Sustainable Development, World Bank

Panelists:

  • Prof. Eric Danquah, West African Center of Excellence for Crop Improvement (WACCI), Ghana
  • Prof. Jibrin Mohammed Jibrin, Center of Excellence for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), Nigeria
  • Prof. Kokou Tona, Africa Regional Center of Excellence for Poultry Science (CERSA), Togo
  • Prof. Richard Edema, Makerere University Regional Center of Excellence for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI), Uganda
  • Prof. El Hadji Silla, Food for West Africa Network (FOOD4WA), AGRISAN, Senegal

Reflections: by Dr. Johan Swinnen, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Managing Director of Systems Transformation, CGIAR

Register here to receive the connection link. Join online during the time of the event
 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2022

9 – 10.10am: TRAININGS, RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS ON MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH, COMMUNICABLE AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES – Panel Discussion:
Venue: MC C2-350

Moderator: Dr. Gaston Sorgho, Practice Manager, Health, Nutrition & Population, World Bank

Panelists:

  • Ms. Olivia Koupaki, West African Network of Infectious Diseases ACEs (WANIDA)
  • Prof. Alexandre Delamou, Africa Centre of Excellence in Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases (PCMT), Guinea
  • Prof. Abdoulaye Diabate, Africa Center of Excellence for Biotechnical Innovations for the Elimination of Vector-borne Diseases (ITECH-MTV), Burkina Faso
  • Prof. Hadiza Galadanci, Africa Center of Excellence for Population Health and Policy (ACEPHAP BUK), Nigeria
  • Prof. Ousmane Ndiaye, Africa Center of Excellence for Maternal and Child Health (CEA-SAMEF), Senegal

Register here to receive the connection link. Join online during the time of the event

10:30 – 11:40am: TRAININGS, RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS DRIVING MULTISECTORAL IMPACT WITH INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY (ICT) – Panel Discussion:
Venue: MC C2-350

Moderator: Ms. Christine Zhenwei Qiang, Director, Digital Development Global Practice, World Bank 

Panelists:

  • Prof. Maissa Mbaye, Center of Excellence in Mathematics, Computer Science, Information and Communication Technologies (CEA-MITIC), Senegal
  • Prof. Grace Jokthan, Center of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), Nigeria
  • Prof. Souleiman Omar Hoch, Center of Excellence on Logistics and Transport (CEALT), Djibouti
  • Prof. Jule Degila, Africa Center of Excellence in Mathematical Sciences and Applications (CEA-SMIA), Benin
  • Dr. Gaoussou Camara, Digital Science and Technology Network (DSTN)  

Register here to receive the connection link. Join online during the time of the event

11.50 – 12.30pm: POSTER EXHIBITION AND NETWORKING
Venue: MC ATRIUM

1.30 – 2.40pm: TRAININGS, RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS DRIVING IMPACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY, WATER, ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY – Panel Discussion:
Venue: MC C2-350

Moderator: Dr. Philippe Charvis, Head of Research, IRD

Panelists:

  • Prof. Kokouvi Edem N’Tsoukpoe, International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE), Burkina Faso
  • Prof. Ayité Senah Akoda Ajavon, Center of Excellence for Electricity Management (CERME), Togo
  • Prof. Denis Aheto, Center of Excellence for Coastal Resilience (ACECoR), Ghana
  • Prof. Benjamin Yao, Center of Excellence for the Valorization of Waste into High Value-Added Products (VALOPRO), Cote d’Ivoire

Register here to receive the connection link. Join online during the time of the event

2.50 – 4pm: ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS AND FOUNDATIONS
Venue: MC C2-350

Moderator: Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, Global Director, Education Global Practice, World Bank

Organizations to be represented on the panel:

  • Ms. Carla Montesi, Director for Green Deal and Digital Agenda (DG INTPA), European Union
  • Dr. Wenda Bauchspies, Program Director, Office of International Science and Engineering, US National Science Foundation
  • Ms. Claudia Frittelli, Program Director, Higher Education & Research in Africa International Program, Carnegie Corporation
  • Ms. Solbjørg Sjøveian, Head of Higher Education and Research Section, Department for Human Development, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

Register here to receive the connection link. Join online during the time of the event

4 – 4:30pm: CLOSING CEREMONY
Venue: MC C2-350

 

About the Event

  • WHEN: October 17-18, 2022
  • WHERE: World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and online
  • FORMAT AND LANGUAGE: Hybrid meetings (face-to-face and zoom webinars), in English and French
WEBINAR REGISTRATION

CONTACT