The ACE impact Bootcamp Ends in Djibouti

The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna Prof. Abdullahi Bala has urged the Africa Centre of Excellence, on Mycotoxin and Food Safety, FUT Minna to strengthen its capacity for a smooth take off of the center.

The VC gave this charge at the 10th ACE 1 workshop and ACE Impact Boot Camp which took place from the 18th – 26th of February, 2019 in Djibouti, East Africa.

Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Emmanuel Udensi, the Vice Chancellor disclosed that the World Bank is interested in getting Africa developed by providing grants and credits to help them implement projects that stimulates economic growth.

He described the workshop as an exciting one and a good training which will strengthen the capacity of the staff towards a smooth running of the center.

Prof. Bala noted that the 5 year term of the project has begun counting and enjoined the team to work together with its partners and stakeholders to achieve the implementation plan of the project.

The Vice Chancellor further reiterated its commitment to the center adding that ACEMFS will get full institutional support as its success will attract national and international reference to the university.

In his opening remarks, The ACE Impact Task Team Leader (World Bank), Mr. Andreas Bloom said the world bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) in collaboration with the African governments have conditionally identified 44 ACEs (26 new ones and 18 from ACE 1); 5 Emerging centres and 5 Colleges and   Schools of Engineering for funding through  this new phase called “ACE IMPACT”  adding that it is critical that they get the New Aces started in the right direction by providing experts to guide and Vice- chancellors to support.

Mr. Bloom disclosed that the ACE IMPACT Project is as a result of the amazing success of the ACE1 institution adding that they produced over 2000 PhD and counts on the new ACE to scale it up to 5000.

On his part, the Center leader, ACEMFS, Prof. Hussaini Makun said it was a laudable decision by the World Bank, Association of Africa University (AAU), National University Commission (NUC) and AFD to have organized the booth camp.

Prof. Makun noted that the booth camp for ACE impact which are the new centers has clearly taken the center officers through on how to effectively operate the center and strategies on implementation plan and also created a platform for networking with the ACE1.

The ACEMFS leader pointed out that the center aims at creating learning opportunities and research results that will address Africa’s shortage of expertise in food safety and applicable solutions to ensure the safe, controlled and sufficient food supply that will support economic growth and public health particularly in West and Central Africa.

Prof. Makun is optimistic that ACEMFS will be a success story as it has the full support of the management of the university as well as 46 partners across the 6 continents of the world comprising of national academic, sectoral and regional partners.

He added that the center has established  links with international institutions that are into food and technology research adding that AAU has opened a platform for all ACE’s in Africa for interrelation.

The center leader noted that the regulatory bodies in the West and Central Africa Countries have indicated interest to partner with ACEMFC in terms of training to acquire higher degrees in the area of food safety and toxicology which will help them evaluate their food, do toxicological evaluation and establish their own legislative standard.

The ACE For Development impact was attended by the World Bank, AAU, AFD, NUC and other stakeholders. The conference was declared opened by the President of the Republic of Djibouti, His Excellency, Mr. Ismail Omar Guellen on Wednesday 20th February, 2019 at Kempinski Hotel, Djibouti city, Djibouti.

Discussions at the workshop focused on the challenges of establishing centers of excellence which includes getting international accreditation, student centeredness, bridging the Francophone and Anglophone language barrier, World Bank/AFD procedures and requirements and achieving the disbursement link indicators results. There was also plenary sessions for VC’s to discuss with their centers.

The 9 ACEMFS officers were in attendance.

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