The BecA-ILRI Hub to support implementation of World Bank centers of excellence initiative

20 April 2017—The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub is set to play a key role in implementing World Bank funded Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project (ACE II) initiative. 

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As a technical partner to four East African institutions (Egerton University, Kenya; Sokoine University and Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania; and Makerere University, Uganda), the BecA-ILRI Hub will provide technical backing and support the strengthening of capacity for researchers from national institutions through fellowships and workshops.

The ACE II is the second phase of an initiative first launched in West and Central Africa. The new phase will be implemented in 24 centers across eight countries—Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia—and seeks to build research capacity in five regional priority areas: agriculture, applied statistics, education, health, and industry (science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM). 

The Kenya chapter of the initiative was officially launched by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i earlier this month. Already, Egerton University has advertised calls for applications for Masters and PhD Scholarships in sustainable agriculture and agribusiness management to be conducted in part at the BecA-ILRI Hub. Other Kenyan institutions participating in the project are Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology focusing on sustainable use of insects as food and feeds; and Moi University focusing on phytochemicals, textiles and renewable energy (PTRE).

Through this project, each center of excellence will receive USD 4.5–6 million over five years. With this funding, the centers are expected to achieve higher institutional capacity for quality education and advanced research; enhanced national, regional and international research partnerships for increased impact; and improved institutional management.

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