Officials at the inauguration ceremony of CERSA in Lome (picture @Diop_WB)

During the inauguration of the new building of CERSA Friday in Lome, Makhtar Diop, vice president of the World Bank for Infrastructure welcomed the steps taken.

"Togo's CERSA is one of the flagship projects of the first phase of the Centers of Excellence, whose results fascinate us and helps strengthen the research potential of our universities and other research centers. Investing in science is about transforming our African economies, creating more value", outlines Diop.

According to him, there is a strong demand for graduates and qualified experts in scientific and technological fields, particularly in mathematics, engineering, agriculture, health, energy, water and sanitation nowadays.

And it is in response to this strong demand that the project of the centers of excellence in Africa, major program of the World Bank is elaborated and financed to more than $ 440 million in twenty African countries.

"Up to date, 46 centers are already funded, which is intended to provide a long-term basis for building capacity in Africa on topics relevant to the continent's development. At the regional level, centers of excellence have already formed over two thousand Ph.D students and nine thousand master's degrees. Over 57 programs have obtained international accreditation and in terms of sustainability, these centers have been able to mobilize more than $ 40 million to subsidize research quality and relevance of the topics studied", he explains.

Let's know more about CERSA of the University of Lome

For 4 years, the University of Lome has housed the Regional Center of Excellence on Avian Sciences (CERSA). This regional training and research structure received $ 8 million, equivalence of 4 billion CFA as funding.

Its mission is to promote the poultry industry through the training of experts and professionals, development research, support to stakeholders and the development of by-products related to this sub-sector.

The center trains master's and Ph.D students in avian science from a dozen nationalities and provides modular training for poultry professionals. 140 masters, 50 pH.D enrolled and 850 professionals from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Togo are already trained.

The center has also received unconditional international accreditation for its Ph.D programs and has generated more than $ 1.1 million in export-related products.

"These scientific efforts are putting Africa on a promising path for economic transformation, and it is important for us to ensure that our students in African universities can develop skills as advanced as those in Africa who attend universities in Europe or the United States", Prof Kokou Tona, Director of CERSA told agridigitale.

New setting for a new start

To meet its ambition as a center of excellence, CERSA afford a new building equipped with ultra modern laboratory equipment realized in 24 months within the University of Lome.

The building investments cost 660 million CFA and 1.5 billion CFA for laboratory equipments. An additional funding of $ 4 million is announced to further strengthen  the competence of the center.

"In the additional phase, we are going to scale up the goals of CERSA, and the biggest innovation is that we are going to put in place an incubator for the employability of the graduates of the center. Those who have no direct jobs but have bankable projects will be supported in the incubator center and implement their project before establishing for their own account when they are truly independent", schedules Prof Kokou Tona.

The University of Lome will benefit from two new centers of excellence like CERSA, which will be financed for an overall amount of $ 12 million by the World Bank.

"With the success of CERSA, which has become a landmark school, two new areas of interest have been awarded to the University of Lome by the World Bank, namely the Regional Center of Excellence for the Mastery of Electricity (CERME) and the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Cities in Africa (CERVIDA)", announce the heads of the international financial institution.


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