World Bank to fund five centers of excellence in Malawi under the ACE II Additional Financing project

The World Bank, the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), and the Regional University Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) are partnering with the governments of Malawi and Mozambique (ACE II AF) to implement The Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Additional Financing Project (ACE-II). In collaboration with the Governments of the two participating countries, the World Bank Group, IUCEA and RUFORUM issued a joint Call for Proposals in February 2022 whereby a total of 12 submissions were received including 9 from Malawi and 3 from Mozambique.

The collaboration was driven by the need to strengthen links between universities in participating countries and regional agricultural sector needs. The project will be guided by the Regional Steering Committee (RSC), comprised of members from participating countries, academics, regional agencies, and the corporate sector.

 An Independent Evaluation Committee (IEC) comprising 19 evaluators was formed to analyze eligible submitted proposals and evaluation procedure was divided into two parts: a technical review of all proposals and an onsite review of proposals that passed the technical review.

Based on the technical components of the bids, the RSC accepted the funding of one center at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique and seven centers from the Republic of Malawi. The RSC also authorized the World Bank to confer with the Republics of Malawi and Mozambique on how to allocate funding and include national priorities.

The Government of Malawi requested five proposals be conditionally selected for funding following consultation between the Republic of Malawi and the World Bank on March 31, 2022, and based on Malawi Government priorities, and which the RSC has accepted for funding

Three of the projects will be based in Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) including Regional Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Policy Analysis (APA), Centre of Excellence in Transformative Agriculture Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (TACE), and AQUAFISH while University of Malawi shall have one Centre named Centre for Resilient Agri-food Systems (CRAFS). The other center will be at Mzuzu University, namely, African Centre of Excellence in Underutilized and Neglected Biodiversity (ACENUB).

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