The World Bank has set July 31 as approval deadline for the eight participating countries in the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project.
Mr Andreas Blom, World Bankís Lead Economist responsible for Africa Education, said there was the need for the participating governments to fast speed up the approval process to enable the smooth take-off of the project this year.
He mentioned that the Gambia, Togo and other Francophone countries had endorsed the agreement, and appealed to the rest to follow suit.
Mr Blom, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, during the formal launch of the ACE Project, said the project seeks to train young Africans that would contribute to the continentís socio-economic development.
He commended the governments of Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Benin, Senegal and the Gambia, for supporting the programme.
He observed that the ACE Project Steering Committee would provide overall guidance and oversight for the Project, declaring that the committee includes representatives from each of the participating countries, recognized African and international academicians, sector representatives and acknowledged civil society stakeholders.
The Lead Economics said under the project, each government is required to constitute a National Review Committee through the ministry or agency responsible for higher education.
He explained that each selected institution would implement its own ACE sub-project, adding that an ACE implementation team at each centre had been established to run the day-to-day management of the project, and provide secretariat services to the National Review Committee.
Mr Blom said each centre would be headed by a Centre Leader, who would be in charge of the day-to-day running of the centre, and would be assisted by the Deputy.
He said the World Bank would again convene another meeting in November this year, in a Francophone country to review the ACE Project activities.
He urged the various centres to deliver, in order to ensure the sustainability of the ACE Project.
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