Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Additional Financing Project (ACE Il AF).
The ACE II AF is a result of broad consultations with the governments of Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique on one hand and Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), RUFORUM on the other. Six key regional gap areas were identified and prioritized for this Project: (i) agribusiness and entrepreneurship; (ii) agri-food systems and nutrition; (iii) agricultural policy analysis; (iv) agricultural risk management and climate change; (v) rural innovations and agricultural extension; and (vi) statistical analysis, forecast and data management. The Project support the governments of the three participating countries to collectively address challenges in the aforementioned key gap areas by (a) selecting African Centers of Excellence (ACE) through a competitive and transparent process from existing higher education institutions which have certain capacity for research and training in agriculture; (b) strengthening selected universities through professionalizing leadership and management, streamlining administration and capacitating faculty, to produce excellent training and applied research which can meet the needs of highly-skilled personnel and knowledge transfer for the agri-food sector; (c) building networks among these institutions to promote regional collaboration, foster partnerships with other institutions including industries for training and applied research to produce innovative solutions for real development impact; and (d) developing a culture of results-orientation and accountability in institutional management through a performance-based financing mechanism. As a regional project, ACE II AF is governed by its Regional Steering Committee (RSC) and facilitated by its Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU).
The RSC comprise of representatives from participating countries, academia, regional bodies, and the private sector, will provide overall guidance to the project. For day-to-day implementation and facilitation of the project, the RSC works with the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) as the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) for the project.