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Prof. Olufemi Peters (middle) with the NOUN team in Marrakech


The Vice-chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Olufemi Peters, is in Marrakech, Morocco, for the 9th Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Regional Workshop.

The workshop, organised by the Association of African Universities (AAU), aims at enhancing the capacity of universities to deliver high-quality training and applied research to address regional development challenges.

It brings together leaders of the 53 Centres of Excellence, government representatives, key higher education stakeholders, policy think tanks, and partners such as the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the AAU to accelerate project implementation by measuring the impact accrued and exploring ways to address bottlenecks.

L-R: NOUN VC, Prof. Olufemi Peters; VC of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Nnenna Oti, and VC of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Adebayo Simeon Bamire, in Marrakech

The  workshop has two series of events of two and three days duration respectively. The first, dubbed “ACE Impact-focused Project Implementation support sessions”, holds from Monday, May 29 to Tuesday, May 30, 2023.

The second, titled “Joint ACE-Morocco collaboration”, holds from Wednesday, May 31 to Friday, June 2, 2023.

The first sessions, according to the organisers, will focus on continuing “the strong push towards project disbursements and fund utilisation and provide implementation support; provide a peer learning platform for the ACEs to discuss methods of achieving the more difficult disbursement-linked indicators (DLIs) such as international accreditation, internships (for select sectors), and institutional impact; and provide one-on-one support to centres following national supervision meetings for all fiduciary matters, including financial management, monitoring and evaluation, environmental and social safeguards, and procurement.”

NOUN VC, Prof. Olufemi Peters, treating the NOUN-ACETEL team to a sumptuous dinner in Marrakech on Monday

The second category of events, will discuss fostering “cross-country partnerships and networks between centres and Moroccan higher education institutions and private sector stakeholders, especially on joint research, entrepreneurship, and innovation opportunities; and provide opportunities for deep dive training and capacity building on moving research from lab to market.”

Venue of the ACE workshop is Palm Plaza Hotel and Spa in Marrakech.

The NOUN VC is leading the team from the Africa Centre of Execellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) domiciled at NOUN, Abuja, to the workshop. Members of the team include the DVC (TIR), Prof. Monioluwa Olaniyi, the Director of ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, and others.

By Ibrahim Sheme
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