The Association of African Universities (AAU), an international non-governmental organization (INGO) with headquarters in Accra, Ghana, was set up in November 1967 by universities in Africa to promote cooperation among themselves and with the international academic community. The AAU collaborates with a number of international organizations and development partners in an effort to fulfil its mandate to the African higher education community.

Aim of ACE Impact Project

West and Central African countries with support from the World Bank and Association of African Universities launched the Regional Higher Education Project called the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project in 2014. Under the ACE Project, 15 programmes have attained international accreditation, 16,000 short-term, 6,500 master’s and 1,600 PhD students have enrolled in postgraduate programs, including 5,000 regional students (that is, sub-Saharan African students from countries outside of the ACE country hosting them). Moreover, 3,500 students and faculty have participated in an internship in a company relevant to their field of study. The 22 ACEs have generated a combined external revenue of US$34 million in the four years of implementation, mostly derived from international R&D, student fees and scholarship competitions.

Following the successful implementation of the ACE Project, World Bank is scaling up and increasing the impact of ACEs on achieving key outcomes that are fundamental to economic growth through the ACE for Development Impact Project, or simply, ACE Impact Project.

The development objective of the ACE Impact is to improve the quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education in selected universities through regional specialization and collaboration. The project will contribute to participating Governments’ objectives of reducing the higher-level skills gaps and improving applied research and technology uptake in the priority sectors. Further, the project would contribute to the strengthening of the best African universities within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Agricultural Sciences; and Health Sciences, as well as in Applied Social Sciences and Environment.

The ACE Impact Project will cover 11 countries (Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Djibouti, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Niger, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Senegal, Republic of The Gambia, and Republic of Togo). The total investment across the countries is expected to reach USD 300 million.

The AAU is the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) for the project. The responsibilities of the RFU include the coordination and facilitation of regional activities, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building for the selected centers of excellence and sharing of good practices across the countries.

Main Responsibilities of ACE Impact Project Manager

The ACE Impact Project Manager will lead the Regional Facilitation Unit for the ACE Impact project, be a member of the AAU project management team and will report to the AAU Secretary General as the overall responsible for the ACE Impact RFU. The ACE Impact project Manager shall carry out the following tasks:

  • Lead the ACE Impact project within the AAU with substantial autonomy including coordination with other staff
  • Plan and Implement the activities of the Regional Facilitation Unit in order to maximize the RFU’s contribution towards the achievement of the ACE Impact project’s development objective through strengthening of the Africa Centres of Excellence.
  • Help continuously assess project progress towards its objective with identification of strengths and weaknesses of the project across ACEs, as well as identification of performs and strengths and weaknesses of each of the Centres of Excellence. > Convene and lead ACE Impact, as delegated, the RFU team.
  • Prepare the annual budget and reports for review and prior approval of the AAU management and subsequently by the Project Steering Committee;
  • Monitor the implementation of all the project activities of the ACEs and prepare periodic reports in collaboration with other team-members.
  • Be the overall responsible for the ACE Impact M&E system, and enable the AAU /RFU M&E experts to carry out the work on reporting of project results framework and data collection;
  • Monitor evaluation studies, including third party verification and baseline studies as well as beneficiary surveys for the ACE project;
  • Conduct procurement in collaboration with the AAU assigned Procurement responsible.
  • Proactively help ACEs to resolve educational and research issues that affect their attainment of the projects objective and results.
  • In collaboration with other project stakeholders, identify capacity building needs in the ACEs and prepare capacity building activities to meet those needs.
  • Seek necessary Bank clearances for all project activities that require clearances prior to execution of the project activities.
  • Facilitate the submission of the progress reports from the selected centers of excellence to the World Bank.
  • Interface with the Africa Centres of Excellence in the execution of project activities.
  • Ensure frequent and fluid communication with the World Bank, national and regional higher education agencies; > Prepare the invitation and all arrangements for the regional ACE workshops, including agenda.
  • Manage the content of the ACE website with the AAU IT responsible staff member for publishing all ACE related information;
  • Promote the dissemination of the project to stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public through media outreach relying and enabling the RFU/AAU Communication and IT staff.
  • Manage recurrent operating activities that are required to effectively implement the ACE project;
  • Work closely with the AAU Secretary General and all those connected with the ACE Project implementation.
  • Any other ACE impact project duties that may be assigned by the Secretary-General.


  • At least a Masters’ Degree or equivalent academic qualification in a relevant discipline; a PhD degree is an added qualification;
  • Having held academic and/or project management position with experience in project appraisal, report writing and financial management;
  • Familiarity with the African higher education environment and higher education regional and sub-regional bodies;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Pro-active problem-solver;
  • Results-oriented;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Passionate about strengthening African Higher Education;
  • Ability to prepare and manage project budgets and produce project reports;
  • Have demonstrable experience in programme development and implementation;
  • Have good management, presentation and interpersonal skills;
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English and French;

Desirable Requirements

  • Must be bilingual English and French.
  • At least 10 years’ experience working in Africa, with extended period outside home country; successful completion of project management fund by international donor;
  • Knowledge and exposure of higher education, with particular focus on Africa higher education environment;
  • Good computer and Internet skills and familiarity with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, MS Project.


  • The contract will be for a period of two (2) years, subject to a probationary period of one (1) year. The appointment will be extended subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds.
  • The position requires extensive travel outside Ghana.

Title Grade: ACE Impact Project Manager P3/P4

Conditions of Employment

  • The AAU offers an attractive remuneration package calculated and paid in US dollars;
  • As a member of the AAU project management team, the ACE Impact Project Manager will enjoy diplomatic privileges accorded to non-Ghanaian senior professional staff.
  • Annual leave of twenty-one (21) working days
  • Other attractive benefits include a monthly post-adjustment allowance and rent subsidy.


Applications should comprise:

• A statement of interest and fitness for the position.

• A detailed curriculum vitae describing applicant’s professional experience and qualification for the position.

• Three (3) reference letters, one of which should be outside the candidate’s home country, should vouch for the candidate’s knowledge, integrity, and enthusiasm towards work. Each of the three reference letters should be sent direct from the referee by e-mail.

> The application letters and supporting documents of candidates should be submitted by e-mail.

> All documents should be sent to the following address no later than Thursday, 31st January 2019:

The Secretary General

Association of African Universities (AAU),

African Universities House, Trinity Avenue, East Legon,

P.O. Box AN 5744, Accra-North, GHANA

Tel: (+233) 302774495/761588

Email: (with a copy to