To address the developmental challenges of the West Africa sub-region initially outlined, the Centre will use a tripod of Education, Research and Public diplomacy that is multi-disciplinary in nature to provide robust solutions to water quality management in the sub-region.
Through the education pillar, the Centre with develop the necessary infrastructure and train people from across the sub-region to adequately manage water quality through our new multidisciplinary postgraduate programs under the best teaching and learning environment at the Centre. The postgraduate programmes include MSc Water Science, MSc Hydrodynamics, PhD Environmental Chemistry and Technology, PhD Environmental Biology, PhD Hydrodynamics. A compulsory 3-month internship program with our industry partners will form a core component of students’ academic program. Some of our international scientific partners will be involved in delivery of courses and specialized academic modules to postgraduate students and water professionals. Furthermore, the Centre will also develop a postdoctoral scheme that will support the intra-Africa academic mobility idea that has the prospect of initiating indigenous solutions to water quality issues in the continent and will thus increase the availability of highly qualified water professionals in Africa. The International Scientific and Industry Advisory Board (IS&IAB), already set up, will coordinate with the Director of the Centre to evaluate and approve curricula for the various postgraduate programmes. The board is made of reputable scientists from across the world and industry leaders in Nigeria.
Under the research pillar of the ACEWATER project, the Centre will be equipped with state-of-the-art scientific tools for research and for capacity development. Our international academic partners will mainly provide bespoke support to students and faculty members of ACEWATER through tailor-made training of faculty members to enhance their pedagogy and research skills and hosting of summer research internship programs for postgraduate students. ACEWATER will, at on-set, focus on five research thematic areas: Water Ecosystem Monitoring and Biotreatment– e-DNA profiling of fresh and marine water bodies, water quality data acquisition, water and development of indigenous rapid pathogen detection kits/biosensors, Water Science and Technology–developing sustainable technologies for efficient water treatment and chemical contaminant sensing, nutrient recovery from wastewater and water reuse, Environmental Hydrology–modeling fate and transport of surface and ground water contaminants, developing eco-based systems for water monitoring and treatment, quantification of water resources and Water Economics and Social Issues– studying and developing templates for water demand; water pricing, water, sanitation and hygiene issues, social aspects of water quality and impact on development. Environment and Water Regulation Unit- informing, strengthening, recommending and developing appropriate legal/policy frameworks for sustainable, reliable and clean water supply in Africa. Postgraduate students will carry out their research under any of the research themes. Additionally, ACEWATER will develop a water quality database network for the sub-region which will be used to track the development of water quality management in the sub-region. The IS&IAB already set up by the Centre, will coordinate with the Director of the Centre to evaluate and approve research proposals from research team leaders.
The public diplomacy pillar will be used to sensitize the general public in the West African sub-region on the values of quality water and sanitation and galvanize support for appropriate policy development and implementation. The opportunity of celebrating the World Water Week and the United Nations World Water day will be utilized for this purpose as well as other planned public enlightenment programs at the Centre.