Hosted by Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), the Africa Centre of Excellence for Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine (PHARMBIOTRAC) has been selected among the beneficiaries of World Bank’s $1 million grant that supports the establishment of incubation centers for East and South African countries.
The Incubation Centre is among the four that are set to receive a financial boost/grant worth USD 250,000 from World Bank as support to help in the establishment of these regional Incubation Centers.
The other three include; the African Center of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development (ACEESD) hosted by the University of Rwanda, Center for Research Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability (CREATES) – in Food and Nutrition Security hosted by the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania and Center of Excellence in Phytochemicals, Textile and Renewable Energy (PTRE) based at Moi University in Kenya.
The listed centers were selected by the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), a regional facilitation unit for the World Bank-supported Africa Centers of Excellence for East and Southern Africa Project (ACE II).
The project is a regional platform for drug development as well as exploring the use of herbal/traditional medicine in the region. The goal of the project is to establish specialized professionals that can advance local medicine in a bid to grow Africa’s social and economic status.
More details indicate that IUCEA received 15 proposals after a call in June 2018 that invited any African Center of Excellence to participate in the ACE II Project. The proposals were selected in relation to the four priority areas of health, industry, agriculture, and education/applied statistics.
After evaluation, MUST’s Africa Centre of Excellence for Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine (PHARMBIOTRAC) happened to be among those with the best innovative ideas.
“The quality of the proposals that were submitted was quite high, and it was a difficult decision to have to select only 4 out of the 15 proposals submitted” said Dr. K. A. Appiah, a member of the Regional Steering Committee of the ACE II project.
He added that their international experts were impressed by the proposals and are apparently looking forward to working with the selected centers on the journey to solve unemployment and attaining economic growth.
“We hope that more funding can be made available by host governments and other institutions to fund other incubation centers. Our international team of experts was very impressed and eager to work with the selected ACEs to ensure that the selected incubation centers are successful in commercializing research innovations towards job creation and economic growth.” He added.