The University for Development Studies (UDS) is one of the top universities across 12 African countries selected to benefit from the World Bank’s Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) Initiative. This was made known at the 10th Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) Workshop and ACE Impact Bootcamp currently going on in Djibouti City, Djibouti. Addressing over 450 participants from across West Africa, Central Africa and Djibouti (i.e. Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo), the President of Djibouti, H. E. Ismail Omar Guelleh lauded the World Bank for the initiative, noting that the development of Africa is anchored on Research and Development (R&D) on the problems affecting the continent’s economic growth and progress.
The UDS will over a five-year period (2019-2023) access about US$6.4 million to support the establishment of an Africa Center of Excellence to be known as the West Africa Center for Water, Irrigation and Sustainable Agriculture (WACWISA). The Center will focus on world-class training at the graduate level and high impact research that addresses the development needs of the West Africa sub-region and the African Continent. WACWISA activities will be facilitated by the Association of Africa Universities (AAU) and supported by the Government of Ghana through the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE). The Center is one of the eight (8) in Ghana to be financed with a total of over US$ 60 million. WACWISA envisions to be “a leading world-class academic and research Center specialized in irrigation, water resources and sustainable agriculture” aimed at training high level manpower in irrigation science and engineering, water resources and sustainable agriculture. It will use a practically-oriented, student centered, research focused, problem-based learning and coaching as core pedagogy. Training methods will mainly be competence and research-based modular system. WACWISA will also undertake cutting-edge research through joint local and international research linkages, cross border and trans-boundary research, graduate students research and Post-Doctoral fellowships. It will enhance research ties by creating a research sector platform between industry and academia.
The UDS seven (7) member delegation to Djibouti was led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Gabriel Ayum Teye with the other members of the team being WACWISA Director, Prof. Felix K. Abagale, Deputy WACWISA Director, Prof. Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic, Director of Finance, Mr. Mohammed Hardi Shaibu, Director of Procurement, Mr. Duke Fredua Agyemang, WACWISA Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer, Dr. Mamudu A. Akudugu and WACWISA Finance Manager, Mr. Muftawu Iddrisu.