The University of Cape Coast's Centre for Coastal Management has been conditionally selected as one of the five new Centres of Excellence in Ghana under the World Bank’s African Centre of Excellence (ACE) IMPACT III Project. The upgrade of the Centre to the status of Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECoR) will receive a proposed funding amount of US$5,861,700.00 from the World Bank and Government of Ghana to scale up and expand on its present focus on applied research, technical professional training and policy engagement to include short courses and postgraduate (PhD and Masters) education of Ghanaian and regional students in key new areas to address coastal degradation issues that are fundamental to economic growth of the sub-region.
The call for proposal, which was opened to all universities in West and Central African countries, was rolled out by the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) of the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project, with support from the World Bank, under the ACE for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project. Funding for the ACE Impact project is from the World Bank and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD).
ACECoR will give impetus for UCC to embrace more multidisciplinary approach to address the issues of coastal resources degradation by strengthening the resilience of coastal areas particularly in Western and Central Africa both biologically and economically. Attention will be given to enhancing research and training of young scientists and the next generation of African professionals to be supported through scholarships, exposure to industry experiences based on internships and conference participation. The Project will introduce institutional Post Doc opportunities and will attract Post Doc’s from within the region especially from Francophone Countries with priority on female candidates.
The research and academic programs will focus on Coastal engineering (design of adaptation solutions for coastal risk reduction); Forestry engineering for nature-based solutions; Maritime Meteorology and Ocean Hydrology Modeling; Natural Capital Accounting; Coastal Zone Land-use Planning; including issues related to Blue Economy and Social Resilience.
ACECoR was selected after an independent team of evaluators, consisting of members from in-country panel of reviewers at the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and other African educational and scientific community supported by diaspora and global technical experts, reviewed 105 proposals that were submitted to the RFU by higher education institutions from the participating countries. Proposals were subjected to several stages of evaluation, including (i) desk reviews; (ii) external evaluation by a subject matter specialist; and (iii) a site and leadership evaluation of shortlisted proposal sites to ascertain the readiness of the institutions in terms of governance, leadership and infrastructure.