The West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), an Africa Centre of Excellence is an integral unit of the University of Ghana, the nations’ premier university located in its capital city, Accra-Legon. WACCI has since its establishment in 2007 made an indelible mark in the University and Africa through its milestone of achievements. Most of the students trained at WACCI end up as leaders in the National Agricultural Research Institutions (NARIs) in their respective countries, win grants/awards and are impacting greatly crop improvement programmes on the continent.
Thinking of applying to WACCI? Here are some reasons why you should:
- Dynamic Research and Development Projects – Cutting Edge Science for Innovation
WACCI is becoming a leading institution in Ag-Innovations for sustainable development of the continent and the Centre has led the development and implementation of many ground-breaking ideas in research for development. Join us today and get the opportunity to work on one of our many funded research projects led by award winning scientists, experts and Professors.
- International Accreditation
The WACCI PhD in Plant Breeding and MPhil in Seed Science Technology programmes received international accreditation in 2018 from the Agency for Quality Assurance through Accreditation of Study Programmes (AQAS) in Germany, an agency for higher education. This means WACCI’s graduates are equipped with knowledge and skills and can compete with their peers trained in advanced institutions from Europe, USA and the world at large.
- Innovative Curriculum
WACCI’s innovative curriculum in MPhil. Seed Science and Technology offers an interdisciplinary training that emphasizes the development of superior problem-solving and analytical skills by providing students with current seed science and technology instruction along with essential modules in business management in a rigorous, integrated curriculum to develop a network of broadly trained individuals that can work effectively to improve access to high quality seeds. The PhD Plant Breeding programme equip students with cutting edge tools and skills by combining both conventional breeding techniques with modern and advanced scientific techniques to develop climate smart and resilient crop varieties. These programmes cover well-chosen areas that are scientifically up to date and have high relevance and attractiveness for the labour market in Africa and globally.
- World Class Infrastructure and Facilities
WACCI’s multi-purpose building is one of a kind in the University of Ghana. The building serves as a research centre, lecture facility and houses the Kofi Annan Enterprise Hub for Agricultural Innovation (KAEHAI). The Centre also has a 150-capacity conference room and a 25-seater board room. Staff offices are also housed in the building, allowing students easy access to Lecturers and Supervisors as well as the Administrative Staff in comfort.
The Centre’s library has a conducive atmosphere for learning and research. It is well stocked with the latest editions of essential genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, plant breeding, biometry, statistics, and seed science related textbooks and resource materials. Student also have access to the Balm Library at the University of Ghana and Albert R. Mann Library at the Cornell University as well as TEEAL and AGORA. These e-resources provide access to any publication available globally to students for their research and learning purposes.
Laboratories in the building include:
- a well-equipped Seed Science Laboratory for seed quality and seed health testing,
- a Tissue Culture laboratory with state-of-the-art facilities for cell and tissue culture as well as plant transformation and genome editing.
- Bioinformatics platform with high performance computers for gene mining and data analysis.
Students have access to use the University of Ghana’s high-speed internet, webservices such as Turnitin and well as High Speed Computing Servers for browsing and complex and big data analysis.
- One of the largest PhD programmes in Plant Breeding in Africa
WACCI has since 2007 enrolled the largest number of PhD Plant Breeding students in Africa. Its alumni are championing the African agriculture transformation in different capacities. You will become integrated into the largest and most vibrant network of African scientists leading the next revolution and transformation of African Agriculture.
- Internship Opportunities for Students
An integral component of the innovative curriculum is the built-in internship programme offered to students in relevant public and private sector establishments to enable the students enhance their technical as well as develop their entrepreneurial skills.
- World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence
WACCI has been declared as a leading Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) under the World Bank Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project (ACE I and ACE Impact) following a rigorous, competitive, merit based assessment. The Centre is to receive a total of $13.5 million to promote and strengthen WACCI’s capacity to deliver quality training and applied research.
- Regional Centre
The Centre has enrolled students from 19 African countries so far making WACCI a truly continent-wide Centre of Excellence. Approximately 50% of students enrolled are from Francophone countries. The curriculum is delivered in the English language hence an innovative feature of the WACCI programme is a pre-enrolment eight-week intensive English language proficiency for Francophone students which continues throughout the first year of the PhD and MPhil programme. This has facilitated the exchange of knowledge between Francophone and Anglophone students in the same academic environment.
The centre has an extensive partnership with the NARIs on the continent and institutions in the USA, Europe, Australia and across the globe.
- The People - Great Support Team
WACCI is made up of an excellent team ready to assist and guide students throughout their course of study to establish and keep lifelong friendships. WACCI people include: renowned, award winning, world leading Professors, International Experts and Scientists, Lecturers and support staff who are ready, willing and eager to help students in various ways. You will receive adequate training through immersion in a culture of excellence and responsive mentorship for your career development and progress.