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Call for Proposals: Partnerships for Innovative Research in Africa (PIRA) Grants



The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP), a consortium of ten leading African universities and Michigan State University, is inviting proposals for its Partnerships for Innovative Research in Africa (PIRA) grants. As a consortium-wide initiative, the PIRA grants are a tiered funding opportunity designed to cultivate and support multidirectional and transregional research partnerships at any stage of their development, whether it be initiatives to explore and create new relationships or scale existing ones. One of the unique aspects to these grants is the expectation that organizations will establish and develop equitable partnerships from the conception to the closeout of the project among themselves and with relevant local stakeholders, involving them as appropriate throughout the project, respecting their knowledge and expertise, and taking an adaptive approach that is responsive to the local context. Proposals should outline processes to establish such partnerships. Proposed partnership activities may entail cooperative research, capacity building initiatives, outreach and/or other activities that align with AAP’s pillars, and address at least one of AAP’s priority areas, which are: agri-food systems; water, energy and the environment; culture; youth empowerment; education; and, health and nutrition.

Funding Tiers

  • Small Grants (up to $50,000)
  • Planning Grants (up to $100,000)
  • Scaling Grants (up to $200,000)

Please send all application material to by Friday, November 27th at 11:59 PM EST (November 28th at 6:59 AM EAT).

The detailed call for proposals is available at Downloads below or on

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Press Release: The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative



An earlier photo of Prof. Noble Banadda in his lab at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. He is O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI) Chairholder in Makerere University in the Thematic Area of Food Security.

Monday 12 October 2020, 12:00 GMT

The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative: Meet the team aiming to contribute to transforming the African research landscape

Pretoria, South Africa: The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI) is pleased to announce that it has selected the Initiative’s first ten host institutions and individual research Chairholders. ORTARChI is an initiative of South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), in partnership with the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation (OATF), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and seven councils of the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI).

“For the next five years, the Chairs at these public universities in seven countries across the African continent will conduct research and support high-end skills development on a diverse range of topics including climate, public health, entrepreneurship and youth employment. Aligned to the global concept of research Chairs, these world-class researchers will not only lead multidisciplinary research teams, but also train the next generation of researchers,”said Dr. Molapo Qhobela, Chief Executive Officer, NRF.

ORTARChI provides five years of funding amounting to approximately US$15million, granted after a rigorous review process and in recognition of institutional excellence and capacity in identified disciplines; commitment to supporting high-quality research leadership; and talent; as well as to individual, internationally-recognised researchers.

In addition to the support provided through the grant for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, funds will be provided by the NRF and the OATF for 55 African female doctoral students studying under the supervision of the respective Chairholders.“Through international and regional strategic partnerships, the Chairs will contribute to the development of long-term, mutually beneficial, research collaboration on the African Continent,” said Dr Jean Lebel, President, IDRC.

The Initiative

This initiative builds on the work of Oliver Tambo, a prominent South African and pan-Africanist with a science education background, who believed in creating change through education and in cooperation and solidarity among African nations.

“This is an important new chapter in the ORTARChI story. The initiative was first announced in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important leaders of South Africa’s liberation struggle, O.R. Tambo, who led the African National Congress during the years of exile. Tambo was not only a committed pan-Africanist but also an advocate of science and technology,” said Zengeziwe Msimang, Chief Executive Officer, OATF.

The ORTARChI is an opportunity to promote the values for which O.R. Tambo stood. These values include integrity, courage of conviction, diplomacy and humility. The initiative also recognises African excellence in the fields of study about which he was so passionate. Tambo not only believed in Africa as a centre for excellence, but also that it was and would continue to be the home of innovation and brilliance.

“Building on this legacy of O.R Tambo, ORTARChI will enhance the higher education system, promoting research and development in Africa. Of significance is the Initiative’s contribution to the development of mutually beneficial medium and long term partnerships between and amongst countries within and beyond Africa. As a collective, the Research Chairs will also leverage partnerships with the civil society, private sector, and government, a highly commendable approach to implementing excellent research,” added Prof VitóriaLanga de Jesus, Executive Director of Mozambique’s National Research Fund (FNI).

Media Invitation

Members of the media and the public are invited to the official launch of the Chairs on 27 October, as part of the 2020 Tambo Month Celebrations. The virtual eventwill be a panel discussion led by South Africa’s Minister of Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande and willbe held on what would have been O.R. Tambo’s 103rd birthday.

Details of the O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative Launch:

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Time: 14:30 – 16:30 SAST (12:30 – 14:30 GMT)

To register for the event, please go to:

The Research Chairs

Below is the full list of the 10 research Chairholders and host institutions:

Research ChairholderInstitution and CountryThematic AreaResearch Focus of Chair
Prof Gizaw Mengistu TsiduBotswana International University of Science & Technology, BotswanaClimate ChangeClimate change and adaptation in water, vegetation and livestock resources
Prof Almeida SitoeEduardo Mondlane University, MozambiqueClimate ChangeEcosystems for arid and semi-arid zones
Prof Olga Lompo and Dr Samiratou OuedraogoUniversité Joseph KI- ZERBO, Burkina FasoHealth SciencesCancer and public health
Prof  Kwesi Firibu SaaliaUniversity of GhanaFood SecurityFood safety and quality
Prof Nathaniel BosoKwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GhanaHumanities and Social SciencesEntrepreneurship and youth employment
Prof Gerald MisinzoSokoine University of Agriculture, TanzaniaFood SecurityLivestock health
Prof Noble BanaddaMakerere University, UgandaFood SecuritySustainable agriculture
Prof Stephen SyampunganiCopperbelt University, ZambiaEnvironment and DevelopmentEnvironmental management
Prof Imasiku NyambeUniversity of ZambiaWater ResearchWater quality and catchment protection
Prof Hulda SwaiNelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, TanzaniaNanotechnologyAnti-malarial drug delivery

Please see below for the full Media Release

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NTU awarded €850,000 to create opportunities with universities in Uganda and Kenya



NTU Project lead Linda Gibson (4th from right) with Makerere University project lead David Musoke (3rd from left) and the 2019 Erasmus+ exchange participants. Photo credit: NTU

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) will receive more than €850,000 of funding that will support three years of projects with partners in Uganda and Kenya.

Two successful bids for the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM) funding were put together by a team of staff from NTU’s Global, Social Sciences, Science and Technology and Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences teams.  Erasmus+ enables UK higher education students and staff to study, gain work experience, teach or train abroad.

The project in Uganda is in partnership with Makerere University and will involve more than 150 staff and student exchange participants. The key focus will be to build and enhance multidisciplinary skills and technical knowledge within Nursing, Microbiology, Pharmacy, Animal and Agricultural Studies and Environmental Sciences in addition to Public Health. These new subject areas have emerged from work as part of NTU’s ongoing partnership with the School of Public Health at Makerere University and align with research plans for the future.

Over the next three years the project in Uganda will seek to build the academic, research and employability capacity of students, provide opportunities for knowledge sharing amongst staff and encourage researchers to tackle future global health challenges.

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Neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm babies during infancy in Eastern Uganda



A sign outside the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), College of Health Sciences (CHS), Mulago Hospital Complex, Kampala Uganda.

A recent study by the Makerere University Centre of Excellence for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), School of Public Health (MakSPH) has shown that preterm infants at 6.6 months of corrected age are at a high risk of developing neurodevelopmental disability of 20.4%, and severe disability of 3.3%, especially those with malnutrition.

Researchers recommend improvement in health system readiness to be able to provide follow-up care with emphasis on improving nutrition and continuity of Kangaroo Mother Care at home. Study conducted among 454 babies in a cohort study at birth.

In Uganda, 14% of 1.6 million live births annually are estimated to be preterm. This is according to data obtained from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) demographic and health survey 2016 and the 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) report titled; “Born too soon; The global action report on preterm birth.”

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