The World Bank has challenged the African Centres of Excellence (ACEs) it is sponsoring in Nigerian universities to ensure that their research findings are put to use by the productive sector.
World Bank’s Education Director, Jaime Chanduvi, threw the challenge on Tuesday in Abuja on a visit to one of the centres at the African University of Science and Technology, AUST.
The ACE Project was approved in 2013 and will close at the end of 2018, with the World Bank committing $150 million to the project.
Ten of the 23 ACEs in Africa are in Nigeria.
Mr. Chanduvi commended the impact made so far by the research findings produced by the centres.
He said the ACEs were put in place to provide quality education to the youth in science and technology as well as to create jobs.
He described ACE as a great opportunity to improve research and quality of instructions in different departments of universities throughout Africa.
“The work these young ones are doing is not just to build a career but to create job opportunities for other Africans in the future,” he said.
“The 10 ACEs in Nigeria are providing very high quality education in science and technology to young people here in Nigeria and also people from other African countries.”
He explained that the project was a huge investment of the World Bank to assist with the processes of growth and development and creation of job opportunities.
In his welcome remarks, the president of AUST, Kingston Nyamapfene, said the ACE in the University, Pan African Material Institute (PAMI), is focused on providing solutions to African needs in the areas of electricity, water purification and disease detection, among others.
While commending the World Bank for the project, he said the centre had been attracting students from Nigeria and other African countries, adding that PAMI recently graduated scores of PhD and masters students.
Earlier, Joshua Atah of the National Universities Commission, who explained the various success stories of the ACEs in addressing the needs of Africans, said with more support from World Bank to the project, most of the challenges identified in the region would be addressed in not too distant future.