10 Nigerian universities are to get 70 million dollar financial support, from the International Development Association funding.
This is part of money approved by the board of directors of the World Bank to build and nurture specialized world-class higher education institutions on the continent.
According to the bank, the centres, which were competitively selected, would receive funding for advanced specialised studies in science and technology, engineering, mathematics-related disciplines as well as agriculture and health.
The beneficiaries are the Federal University of Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, Benue State University, and Redeemers University, Mowe.
Others include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos; University of Benin; African University of Science And Technology, Abuja; University of Port Harcourt and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
World Bank Vice-President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, said: “I am excited to support these pioneering centres of excellence because they will be another step in building and nurturing specialized world-class higher education institutions on the continent.
“I can think of no better way to grow African economies, create jobs, and support research in Africa, than educating young graduates with expertise in high-demand areas such as chemical engineering, crop science, and the control of infectious diseases.”
This Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) project, which will equip young Africans with new scientific and technical skills, will be financed through IDA credits to the governments of Nigeria (US$70 million), Ghana (US$24 million), Senegal (US$16 million), Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Togo (US$8 million each).
The Gambia will also receive a US $2 million credit and a US$1 million grant to provide higher education, including short-term training, to students, faculty and civil servants through the 19 ACEs.