Ethiopia launched its four Africa Centers of Excellence on January 16, 2017 at a ceremony held at Elilly International Hotel, Addis Ababa. The Centers include: African Center of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation (Climate SABC) at Haramaya University, and Center for Innovative Drug Development & Therapeutic Trials for Africa (CDT-Africa), African Center for Water Management and African Railway Education & Research Institute (ARERI) at Addis Ababa University. Each of the four centers will receive $6 million to implement their proposal over five years.

Prof. Afework Kassu, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Science and Technology, pledged the government’s support to the Centers and government commitment to realise technological transformation.

Andrew Goodland, who represented the Country Director, Carolyn Turk, emphasized the need to deliver on results, adding that if the centers deliver on their commitments, there would be potential for similar funding.

Present at the launch was the President of Addis Ababa University, Prof. Admasu Tsegaye, Vice President of Haramaya University, government dignitaries, partners from other national universities and the World Bank staff.

The four center leaders, Dr. Birhanu Beshah, Dr. Feleke Zewge, Prof. Nigusse Dechassa and Dr. Abebaw Fekadu, presented overviews of their respective projects. Subsequent discussion focused on the potential of the centers not only for Ethiopia but also for the region and the importance of engaging key stakeholders such as the African Union. 

 The five-year project will work to 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. IUCEA, an East African Community institution responsible for coordinating the development of higher education will facilitate and coordinate the project.

The Centers will all offer competitive scholarships to award top talents and encourage regional student mobility. You can view ACE scholarships offered in Ethiopia here.

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