World Bank Senior Director visits WACCBIP
The West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) on the 10th of July 2017 was privileged to receive a high level delegation from the World Bank (WB). This delegation included the Senior Director, Jaime S. Chanduvi, Practice Manager, Halil Dundar, Communications Officer, Kennedy Fosu, Assistant to the Senior Director, Marcela Gutierrez Bernal and Senior Education Specialist, Eunice Yaa Brimfah Ackwerh. The main aim of this visit from the World Bank delegation was to learn about WACCBIP and also to interact with faculty and students concerning their experiences at WACCBIP and challenges facing education in Africa.
The Director of WACCBIP, Professor Gordon Awandare welcomed the team from the World Bank. Mr. Chanduvi thanked him for accepting their request to visit the Centre to interact with the students. Mr. Chanduvi further mentioned that their main aim was to learn about the Centre, speak to the studentsconcerning challenges facing education in Africa and how to improve these problems.
Prof. Awandare gave a presentation on WACCBIP which detailed the establishment of the Centre, achievements, challenges and the sustainability plan after the duration of the grant period. Mr. Chanduvi expressed that WACCBIP is a good example of what the WB wants to see in all the African Centres of Excellence (ACE) projects. On sustainability he mentioned that the momentum for the continuation of the project will rely on the government’s ownership and commitment to science and research.
Mr. Dundar enquired more about the sustainability plans for the Centre to which Prof. Awandare said the faculty of WACCBIP will continue to compete for grants to support the Centre. Additionally, the Centre will engage the private sector to support students and research at the Centre and the government of Ghana planned to increase the research fund of which WACCBIP could be a beneficiary.
WACCBIP fellows and students shared their learning experiences with the World Bank team. These included the effective manner in which faculty at WACCBIP deliver lectures, the functional time table put out by the Head of Training which spells out objectives and deliverables, and the vast collaborations the Centre has with institution and universities across Africa. Challenges included the non-recognition of Postdoctoral fellows in the University of Ghana structure, procurement delays, cultural differences, language barrier for non-Anglophone countries which the fellows acknowledge were beyond the purview of WACCBIP.
Mrs. Ackwerh on her part thanked the team from WACCBIP for their kind reception and expressed gratitude to the faculty, fellows and students for taking off time from their busy schedules to meet and give genuine feedback on their learning environment at WACCBIP. Prof. Awandare took the World Bank team on a tour of the labs at the Centre.