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Previous African Futures Cohorts

AAP launched the African Futures Research Leadership program in Fall 2019. The competitive program brings early-career researchers from AAP’s member institutions, and have them conduct research in a field that aligns with AAP’s six priority areas: agri-food systems, water, energy, and environment, youth empowerment, education, culture, and health and nutrition. Through this program, the scholars strengthen their skills in leadership, team development, research development, engagement, and collaboration, with the goal of having them be able to return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, help solve Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation. For more on this program, click here: African Futures Research Leadership program

Learn more about our previous cohorts of African Futures scholars. 

2022-2023 cohort

2021-2022 cohort

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African Futures Dissemination Workshop

See our inaugural cohort present their research

IMG_7942.jpgOur first cohort of eight African Futures scholars arrived in September 2019 and received a warm Spartan welcome. After getting to know the campus, meeting their MSU mentors, attending a formal orientation, and having a welcome reception in their honor, the eight women scholars are ready to start their research journey here at MSU. 

As the inaugural cohort, these eight visiting scholars set a precedent in AAP and MSU history. To commemorate their achievement, we have composed a series of eight mini-features on these incredible women’s stories and the innovative work they plan to do here at MSU. Below are some brief summaries on each scholar and a link to their feature stories. 

Welore Tamboura




Welore has a PhD in information and communication sciences. She is specialized in public communication on topics related to prevention. Her research revolves around the issues of interconnection between communication prevention and education for social change levers in Africa. During her time here, Welore will be doing research on the topic of peace education in Mali.


Amelia Ngozi Odo



Amelia is a lecturer in the Public Health Education Unit of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education. She is also a registered public health nurse. Her research interest is generally in public health with a special interest in youth’s sexual and reproductive health. During her time here, Amelia is investigating associations between maternal multiple nutrient deficiencies and breast milk nutrients using samples from Ariaal women in northern Kenya.



Ndèye Ndiaye



Ndèye has a doctorate in population genetics. She works on research themes approaching the genetic improvement and conservation of valuable and useful livestock resources in Senegal. During her time here, Ndèye will be doing research on the application of genomic technologies for smallholder dairy farmers.


Getrude Mphwanthe



Getrude will be doing research on addressing malnutrition in Uganda and Malawi. Additionally, she will be completing supervised training in dietetics. Upon returning to her home in Malawi, she will be one of the first registered dieticians in the country.


Deborah Ruth Amulen




Deborah works as a lecturer at the Department of Livestock and Industrial Resources. She has a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences from Ghent University, Belgium and has twelve years of experience in working with beneficial insects such as honeybees. 

During her time at MSU, Deborah will be doing research on the topic of insect farming with food waste to produce an alternative protein source.


Linda Nkem Chukwurah



Linda holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Kinetics. Over the years, she has used her knowledge and skills acquired in sports psychology to prepare athletes mentally for successful sports participation and also assist in their effective balancing of sports and academics. During her time at MSU, Linda will be doing research on using sport-based life skills programs to enhance entrepreneurship and academic outcomes in youth.


Innocensia John

Innocensia.jpg Innocensia is an economist from the Department of Agricultural Economics and Business of the University of Dar es Salaam. Her PhD dissertation research focused on the potential of marketing agricultural products with Geographical Indication labeling. She investigated 5 potential products, coffee, rice, sugar, cloves and Aloe Vera in Tanzania. The products are few among many potential products in Tanzania that are to be explored for Geographical Indication Protection. Currently, Innocensia is working on the Agro economic systems in Malawi and Tanzania

Helen Agu


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Helen Agu holds a doctorate degree in Law with research interest on environmental rights, climate change law and conservation crime. She is a lecturer at the Department of international and Comparative Law, University of Nigeria and a research Fellow of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human and Humanitarian Law (Lund, Sweden). During her time at MSU, Helen will be conducting a multidisciplinary research on Gendered dimensions of Wildlife Trafficking in sub Saharan Africa.