African WB boss visits UR to witness achievements by African Centres of Excellence

17 Jun 2019

The University of Rwanda received a delegation led by Mr. Hafez Ghanem ; the World Bank’s Africa Region Vice President alongside the Rwanda Minister of Education. The visit intended to witness achievements of the four African Centres of Excellence (ACE) funded by World Bank.

The delegation was hosted by Prof Phil Cotton, UR Vice Chancellor who underlined the importance of Centres of Excellence in the ranking of the University. He noted that the quality of research judged by a normalized citation index ranks the University of Rwanda 2nd in the region according Clarivate Analytics.

Welcoming remarks by Prof Cotton, UR Vice Chancellor

“The centres play a key role in raising the university profile, open up the community, the partnership and relationship” Cotton said.

In his remarks, Mr. Hafez Ghanem informed during his visit that the establishment of Centres of Excellence in education system is one way to support integration among African countries. He also highlighted World Bank significant support to science, technology and access to internet which, according to him are vital for African countries to be able to create new jobs.

“We believe that African economies need to create million jobs every month ; which can’t be achieved without using technology and internet,” He said, adding that studies show a very strong correlation between digital economy and industrial development which fuels job creation.

Mr. Hafez Ghanem during his visit to UR Centres of Excellence

Mr Ghanem also expressed his satisfaction to projects in energy and sustainable development related to electricity and power sector in Africa, because countries cannot develop or talk about digital economy without access to electricity

Speaking on the occasion Hon. Dr Eugene Mutimura, the Minister of Education commended WB for 20M $ injected into Centres of Excellence. He also revealed that WB is on the verge of funding a project on basic level of education where quality of education and human capital development is very critical. This will go in line with supporting infrastructure development to address overcrowding classes in primary schools, according to the Minister.

Dr Mutimura’s address on the occasion

In the course of the visit, PhD students enrolled in centres of excellence presented their research projects by explaining the impact of their research to the community and their aspirations after graduation. Equally, masters’ students showcased their practical skills in power engineering.

The Four UR hosted African Centres of Excellence are among 24 eastern and southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence funded by World Bank. They include ACE in Energy for Sustainable Development, ACE in Internet of Things, ACE in Data Science and ACE in Innovative Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science.

Research and Practical presentations by ACE students while the delegation looks on


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