The World Bank is partnering with eight Governments in Eastern and Southern Africa in an innovative project with the aim of improving the quality of training and research in higher education, and reducing the skill gaps in key development priority areas. The Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE II) Project supports the governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia in strengthening selected African Centers of Excellence (ACEs) to deliver quality post-graduate education and build collaborative research capacity in the following priority areas: (i) Industry, (ii) Agriculture, (iii) Health, (iv) Education, and (v) Applied Statistics. The ACE II Project implements three components, namely (i) strengthening the 24 higher education institutions into regional ACEs in Eastern and Southern Africa in a set of defined regional priority areas (US$ 140 million); (ii) providing capacity building support to these ACEs through regional activities (US$3 million); and (iii) supporting coordination and management of the implementation of components (i) and (ii) (US$5 million).

As Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) for the ACE II Project, the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) leads the implementation of key elements of Component 2 of the project, aimed at building strong and sustainable regional partnerships and collaborations to produce competent Masters and PhD holders for the regional market and improve quality of teaching in higher education and quality of production and services in public and private sectors. To encourage the participation of young African female students at postgraduate level, IUCEA wishes to implement a Fellowships Program aimed at providing competitive Masters Scholarships to academically deserving future talents to promote regional female student mobility. Eligible female applicants who can demonstrate interest and ability in the priority areas are encouraged to apply for the 30 Fellowships available for the 2018/2019 academic year.


In order to be eligible for this Fellowship, the applicant must:

  • be a female national of one of ACE II participating countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) or Burundi
  • be under the age of thirty five (35) years
  • be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree from a reputable university in the relevant field, at the level of Upper Second Class Honours
  • ve been admitted in any of the 24 ACEs to study full-time in any of the priority disciplines of the ACE II Project: (a) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) or Industry, (b) Agriculture, (c) Health, (d) Education, and (e) Applied Statistics;
  • have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement as evidenced by academic transcripts, and academic awards, if any.


The Fellowship Program will provide support in the following broad areas of activities:

  • Industry. In general, Eastern and Southern African countries experience low and, in some cases, declining levels of enrolment in areas associated with the growing industrial sectors which require skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or Industry – STEM. Thus, there is huge demand for graduates in emerging sectors with high growth potential such as oil and gas, energy, extractives, and railways industries across the region. This Fellowship will contribute to improved availability of skilled professionals with specialized knowledge who can innovate and boost productivity in the STEM areas, such as engineers (civil, petroleum, and mechanical), geoscientists, mechanical technicians, etc.
  • Agriculture: Low levels of agricultural productivity has contributed to shortage of food and overall food insecurity due to skills and labour constraints, as well as the slow adoption of technology. Primarily this low productivity is caused by factors such as frequent droughts, rampant diseases (crop and livestock), unimproved crop varieties, lack of access to quality seeds/fertilizers, and poor management of water resources. To address these challenges, this Fellowship will contribute to training of female graduates to become agribusiness specialists/managers, crop scientists, plant breeders, veterinarians, agronomists, water and irrigation engineers, and food preservation and processing specialists, who will contribute to innovative research and teaching for agricultural advancement, improved nutrition, and agricultural sustainability.
  • Health: There is low life expectancy in Eastern and Southern African region. Both infectious and non-infectious diseases account for highest proportion of illness in the region, and include malaria and tuberculosis and other diseases that may have been eliminated elsewhere. Infectious diseases are also a major constraint to both the export of African livestock and the spread of diseases from animals to humans. This Fellowship will address development challenges in the areas of infectious diseases, public health, and drug development through training and research in molecular biology, analytical epidemiology, traditional medicine, and pharma-biotechnology.
  • Education:. Poor education quality, especially at the primary and secondary levels, is a significant obstacle to higher education access and outcomes. Poor teaching competencies, particularly in mathematics and science, are a barrier to the production of high-quality graduates and faculty in the field. This Fellowship will contribute to improved quality of tertiary education, leading to improved learning outcomes in the STEM disciplines.
  • Applied Statistics: The absence of reliable and accurate data, data management systems, and skilled statisticians is a serious constraint to policymaking, adequate analysis of development challenges, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of interventions. In sub-Saharan African countries, across various sectors, there is a severe shortage of highly trained statisticians and of good quality data. This makes it difficult to provide analyses, plan and monitor interventions, inform fact-based policy, and track progress. This Fellowship will contribute to capacity of research and training within higher education, with a focus on providing improved statistical skills.


The provided financial support for each Fellowship Program will cover:

  • University tuition fees: Approximately USD 3,000 per year (payable directly to the Host University according to an official invoice)
  • Stipend: USD 800 per month to support living expenses such as housing, food, utilities, local transportation, medication and settlement expenses
  • Research: USD 4,800 to support student research, payable upon approval of research proposal
  • Allowance: USD 2,000 one-off allowance to cover visa, laptop and books
  • Air ticket: A round-trip economy fare for the most direct route between the beneficiary’s home country and the study destination of Host University

Note:Candidates must complete all academic work within the specified period of the programme as the scholarship cannot be extended beyond a maximum of 24 months.


To apply for this Fellowship, interested candidates are advised to fill in the application form found at or attach all requested documents, and send by e-mail to with a copy to All applications must be received not later than 5.00 PM East African Time on June 4 2018. For proof of eligibility, an applicant should ensure that the following are provided:

  • Completed application form
  • Recent passport-size photograph
  • Summarized CV with names and contacts of two referees
  • Certified copies of academic certificates and transcripts
  • Certified copies of passport or national identity card indicating citizenship
  • Copy of admission letter from one of the host universities (please refer to the attached table on Countries, ACEs and Universities)

Area of focus and selected Center of Excellence(s) in the Eastern and Southern African Countries
No Cluster Name of the African Center of Excellence (ACE) University Country
1 Industry African Railway Center of Excellence Addis Ababa University Ethiopia
2   ACE for Water Management    
3   Center of Studies in Oil and Gas Engineering and Technology Universidade Eduardo Mondlane Mozambique
4   Center of Excellence in Phytochemicals, Textiles and Renewable Energy Moi University Kenya
5   ACE for Energy for Sustainable Development University of Rwanda-College of Science and Technology Rwanda
6   ACE in Internet of Things    
7   Water Infrastructure &Sustainable Energy Center of the Future Nelson Mandela African Institute of Technology Tanzania
8   Center of Materials, Product Development and Nanotechnology Makerere University Uganda
9   Africa Center of Excellence for Sustainable Mining Copperbelt University Zambia
10 Agriculture Center of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture and Agribusiness Management Egerton University Kenya
11   ACE for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation Haramaya University Ethiopia
12   ACE for Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources Malawi
13   Collaborating Center of Research, Evidence Agricultural Advancement and Teaching Excellence & Sustainability Neloson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology Tanzania
14   Center of Excellence in Sustainable use of Insects as Food and Feeds Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology Kenya
15   ACE for Innovative Rodent Pest Management &Biosensor Technology Development Sokoine University of Agricultre Tanzania
16   Center for Crop Improvement Makerere University Uganda
17   African Center for Agro-Ecology &Livelihood Systems Uganda Martyrs University Uganda
18 Health ACE for Public Health and Herbal Medicine University of Malawi, College of Medicine Malawi
19   Center for Innovative Drug Development & Therapic Trials for Africa Addis Ababa University Ethiopia
20   Southern Africa Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance Sokoine University of Agriculture Tanzania
21   Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Center Mbarara University of Science and Technology Uganda
22   African Cetner for Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Human and Animal University of Zambia Zambia
23 Education ACE for Innovative Teaching & Learning Mathematics and Science University of Rwanda-College of Education Rwanda
24 Statistics African Cetner of Excellence for Data Science University of Rwanda-College of Business and Economics Rwanda