TheEastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project (ACE II) which seeks to strengthen 24 competitively selected centers to deliver quality, market-relevant post-graduate education in Eastern and Southern Africa has been launched in Rwanda. Rwanda is one of the 8 participating countries in ACE II. The other countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Rwanda has 4 Centers of Excellence and they include;

  • African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development (ACEESD) and
  • African Centre of Excellence in Internet of Things (ACEIoT) both hosted at the College of Science & Technology
  • African Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science (ACEITLMS), College of Education
  • African Centre of Excellence for Data Sciences (ACE-DS), College of Business & Economics

These Centers will get a total of $20 million over five years to implement their projects.

Speaking at the launch held on January 24, 2016 at the University of Rwanda’s Gikondo Campus, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Dr. Celestin Ntivuguruzwa noted that the project is in line with Rwanda’s Vision 2050 to focus on quality of education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“Our big task is to make sure that the sustainability of this project is assured. I would like to promise Rwanda’s effort and cooperation to ensure that the project is successful and sustainable.”

The World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda, Yasser El-Gammal, congratulated the centers for reaching this milestone and said a lot was expected from them, not just for Rwanda but for the region. “The ACE II project will complement the ongoing governance efforts and the relevant areas both through country and regional initiatives including the participation in Partnership for skills in Applied Science Engineering and Technology (PASET) initiative.” He thanked the government of Rwanda for dedicated efforts that helped to get the project to this stage.

Also in attendance was the ACE II Country Task Team Leader, Nobuyuki Tanaka and the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, Professor Nelson Ijumba, and other university officials.

The launch included presentations by the Center Leaders and training in financial management and procurement guidelines by the World Bank. The five year project is financed by the World Bank with US$140m in form of IDA Credit to the eight participating countries. The ACE project is built around the premise that a regional approach in science and technology higher education offers the most effective use of the region’s resources to bridge Africa’s gap in high-level skills. See presentations from the launch here.

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