Uganda launches African Centers of Excellence (ACE 11) Project
The Government of Uganda has launched the four Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE 11) project at the Office of the President today Wednesday 15th November 2017, in an event that was officiated by the Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni who is also the First Lady of Uganda.The $24 million (approx. 87 billion UGX) project is a grant from the World Bank to the Government of Uganda that will last for a period of 5 years from 2016. 19 Universities in Uganda competed where three Universities were selected to host four centres among which is UMU, the only private University.
Minister Janet Museveni congratulated the Universities that are hosting the four centres notably; Uganda Martyrs University (UMU), Makerere University (MAK) and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and requested their Leadership to ensure that the monies are put to good use if the projects are to succeed.
She noted with excitement that Universities through the ACE 11 are going to address societal challenges to change the quality of life of all Ugandans and Africa as a whole through various innovations in Technology and Agriculture, hence changing from the traditional duty of only teaching of students to speaking a language that people understand.
“It is exciting now to see that Universities have begun to think with us and look for solutions for our problems and leading communities to find their own solutions to problems they face,” she said.
Minister Janet Museveni in a special way appreciated the presentation from Uganda Martyrs University that was delivered by Dr. Jude Ssebuwufu (the Centre leader) which seemed to focus more on enrolling female and needy students.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye was happy to note that Universities are going to translate research into commercialized outcomes that will uplift national technology and science systems in the Country.
He also requested the ACEs to give equal opportunities to all Ugandans and enable them to compete favourably for scholarship offers because, in the end, it is Ugandans who will pay back the grant.
On behalf of all the African Centres of Excellence, the Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Prof. Celestino Obua appreciated government and the World Bank for accepting to fund the four ACEs and pledged adequate support to the centre leaders to ensure that the Projects succeed.
“We pledge to produce tangible results by working with industries and contribute to the development of the Country through research and innovations,” he added.
The four ACEs launched are; Centre of Materials, Product Development and Nanotechnology (MAPRONANO); Makerere University Centre of Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) all hosted by Makerere University; Pharm Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Centre ( PHARMBIOTRAC) hosted by Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST); and African Centre for Agro-Ecology and Livelihood Systems (ACALISE) hosted by Uganda Martyrs University (UMU).