By Prossy Tulinomubezi

The College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) in collaboration with the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) and the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) with other stakeholders from government and private sector have laid strategies for coming up with a winning proposal to be in position to receive funds from the World Bank Africa Center of Excellence (ACE) initiative.

This has been arrived at in the stakeholder’s consultative meeting for the Africa Center of Excellence in Information Technology and Engineering studies (ACE-ITES) held Tuesday July 14, 2015 at CoCIS.

Dr. Solange Uwituze , a representative of RUFORUM said funds will help in producing innovative and relevant graduates on the job market since they will cater for advanced specialized studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Given priority in areas of Science, technology, mathematics and engineering by the World Bank ACE initiative, this will not only help financially but also will help to produce quality graduates for the job market and bring about excellency in running of businesses,” Uwituze said

Dr Julianne Sansa-Otim said it will be achieved by creating open educational resources to empower several stakeholders to carry out relevant research within the region in areas of infrastructures that can improve the quality of education offered in universities.

“We need to put in place innovative e-Services, affordable communications infrastructures, energy systems to power the infrastructures which will contribute to improved education quality and poverty reduction, in e-Learning environment” Sansa said.

She adds that the initiative also tends to cater for 46.8% people in sub-Saharan Africa who leave below the poverty line.

Assoc. Prof. Constant Okello Obura, the principal CoCIS Asserts that working in a team, they will be in position to cater for the major areas in the project.

“Since we decided to take a lead after consultation with our partner RUFORUM, with a hand from the CEDAT and CEES, the aims of the project will be achieved,” Obura said.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, the principal CEDAT said that with a winning team, a clear proposal with a clear mission will be written which will win the project support.

“We should form a winning team, make a clear proposal with a mission which puts into account National priorities such s the vision and the National Development Plan thus contributing to the development of the nation at large,” Alinaitwe said.

Uwituze also advised the stakeholders to have the ability to develop both their internal and external partnerships.

“Focus needs to be put in areas of partnerships which must be based on trust, transparency and time along with staff capacity, learning paradigm and learning environment,” Uwituze said.

Dr. Gilbert Maiga, the dean School of Computing and Informatics Technologh (SCIT), said the way forward for the project is to re-constitute the team, get additional objectives and form a timeline which will direct the team on what to do at a particular time until the final proposal will be drafted.

Partners in the project include; RUFORUM, UCC, NITA-U, Internet Society of Uganda, Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers, UMEME, MTN, Huawei, MUNI University, U.M.I, Hive Colab, Outbox, Vodafone and Ericson among others.

The World Bank launched the Center of Excellence project at the 13th Association of African Universities Conference of Rectors, Vice-chancellors and Presidents of African Universities (COREVIP), which was held in Gabon’s capital Libreville with an aim of promoting regional specialization among participating universities and strengthen their ability to deliver quality training and research.

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