The Centres of African Excellence, one of the long-term German-African cooperation projects at the educational level, are celebrating their 10th anniversary. Started by an initiative by the Federal Foreign Office and the ACA member, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), for ten years the centres have been synonymous with sustainable, internationally competitive academic training. The higher education sector is particularly important in Africa, as this is where a new generation of academics can be formed and contribute to the creation of a long-term perspective for Africa. From the German side, this also means having skilled personnel, and therefore make German investments in Africa easier. One instrument which benefits both sides.
There are now ten university Centres of African Excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa, which will allow future decision makers to address specific questions with international networks. Each of the centres deals with the challenges of its own country and is supported by a German partner university.
Heidrun Tempel, Deputy Director-General for Research and Academic Relations Policy and Cultural Relations Policy at the Federal Foreign Office emphasised that the final goal should be to endow these centres with the competences they need to acquire new funding on their own, and to extend the initiative, in order to increase the number of such centres in Africa to at least 20.