Education Specialist, Education Global Practice Co-leader, Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence project, World Bank
Ekua Bentil holds a PhD and Master’s degrees (2011, 2008, resp.) in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, where her research focused on III-V semiconductor devices (lasers, detectors and wavelength filters) and mid-infrared sensing systems. She holds a 3-2 dual bachelor’s degree (2006) in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Physics from Bryn Mawr College.
Ekua has been an Education Specialist with the World Bank Education Global Practice since 2016, focusing on the tertiary and STEM education agenda across the sub-Saharan Africa region. She is co-leading the phase three of the World Bank-funded Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence project (ACE Impact) which will provide funding and support to universities in more than 10 countries in West and Central Africa (plus Djibouti) for training (master’s and PhD) and applied research, covering several regional priority sectors including water, energy, ICT, mining, agriculture, health, transport and coastal resilience. ACE Impact further aims to strengthen selected schools and colleges of engineering (going beyond the ACE centers).
Ekua is also a member of the Secretariat (hosted at the World Bank) of the pan- African Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), an initiative led by African governments, to build the science and technology workforce in sub-Saharan Africa. She has played a critical role in the designing and operationalizing of the PhD scholarship program (PASET Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF)) and linking it with international academic and industry partners. In addition, she is leading efforts to improve higher education data through the PASET Regional Benchmarking initiative for African universities and national governements. The Benchmarking work covers the developing of tools and their implementation, and includes areas such as accessibility, quality of faculty, governance, research output, technology transfer, financing, student surveys and graduate tracer studies.
Prior to her current World Bank role, Ekua worked on Wall Street in New York, at Goldman Sachs, as a market risk modeler (2011 – 2015). After leaving Goldman Sachs, she consulted with the World Bank’s Education Global Practice as a science and technology specialist for the Africa region (2015).
Representatives from the National Science Foundation, ABET, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the World Bank and UNESCO discuss what they are doing to further peace engineering and peace engineering education.