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2021 PIRA Awardees

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ALLIANCE FOR AFRICAN PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHES US$1.5 MILLION GRANT PROGRAM TO PROMOTE INNOVATIVE RESEARCH IN AFRICA

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP), has awarded US$1.5 million in grants to 11 research teams from AAP member universities together with allied research teams from non-AAP universities. The projects will begin in July 2021.

Known as Partnerships for Innovative Research in Africa (PIRA), this grant program is a tiered funding opportunity designed to cultivate and support multidirectional and transregional research partnerships that are focused on impacting lives and livelihoods in Africa and beyond. 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.

Projects were awarded across four funding categories: youth transformation, Africa-Asia transregional grants, early career researchers, and global African diaspora grants. The grants cover a wide range of transdisciplinary topics including an exploration of youth empowerment processes for social change, sustainable digital health systems, novel flour foods for nutrition, and strengthening agricultural extension, among others.

Each project has principal investigators from MSU and at least one African AAP member university. Some projects have additional institutional partners across Asia, the Caribbean, and elsewhere on the continent.


Youth Transformation Grants 

Youth Empowerment: building bridges for social changes in francophone Africa 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Culture, Education, Youth Empowerment  
  • Principal Investigators: Marcy Hessling O’Neil (MSU), Welore Tamboura (ULSHB), Bienvenu Azehoungbo (UAC, Benin)  
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Social Science); University of Letters and Human Sciences of Bamako (Mali); Centre Béninois des Langues EtrangèresUniversité d'Abomey-Calavi (CEBELAE/UAC)
  • Funding tier: Scaling grant (up to $200,000)

 

US-Botswana Collaborative Research on Youth Empowerment and Education: SMART Infrastructure and Mobility Innovations for Resilient Community Health 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Culture, Education, Youth Empowerment  
  • Principal Investigators: Nizar Lajnef (MSU), Phillimon T. Odirile (University of Botswana), Abraham Mamela (Infers Group) 
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Colleges of Engineering); University of Botswana, Infers Group 
  • Funding tier: Scaling grant (up to $200,000)

Africa-Asia Transregional Grants 

Implementing an Africa-Asia Business Partnership Forum Using Trans-Local Networks and Transdisciplinary Approaches to Support Capacity Development of African Entrepreneurs & New Collaborative Business Ventures 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Education, Youth Empowerment  
  • Principal Investigators: Yemisi Bolumole (MSU), Farai Kapfudzaruwa (University of Pretoria), Kudo Shogo (Institute for Asian Studies & Regional Collaboration/University of Tokyo) 
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Broad College of Business), University of Pretoria, Institute for Asian Studies & Regional Collaboration/University of Tokyo 
  • Funding tier: Scaling grant (up to $200,000)

 

Africa-Asia Partnership for Sustainable Development 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Agri-food systems, Health & nutrition, Water, energy & environment 
  • Principal Investigators: Arnold M. Opiyo (Egerton University), J.R. Parvathi (Somaiya Vidyavihar University), Karim Maredia (MSU) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University (CANR); Egerton University; Somaiya Vidyavihar University 
  • Funding tier: Small grant (up to $50,000)

 

Strengthening Agricultural Extension Training in the MSU-Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) Consortium Partners in Africa 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Agri-food systems, Education 
  • Principal Investigators: Professor Murari Suvedi (MSU), Professor Agwu Ekwe Agwu (UNN), Dr. Charity Chanza (LUANAR), Professor P.V.K. Sasidhar (Indira Gandhi National Open University) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University (CANR); Dept. of Community Sustainability, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Dept. Of Agricultural Extension (Nigeria); Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi), Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi (India) 
  • Funding tier: Scaling grant (up to $200,000)

Early Career Researcher Grants 

Understanding the Nexus Between Energy and Water Infrastructure, WASH Access, Gender Roles, And Female Educational Attainment in Tanzania - Development othe Women Building Tanzania Research Consortium 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Education, Health & nutrition, Water, energy & environment 
  • Principal Investigators: George Berghorn (MSU), Ronald Ndesanjo (UDSM)Susan Masten (MSU), Colman Msoka (UDSM), Annick Anctil (MSU) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University School of Planning, Design & Construction; MSU College of Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; University of Dar es Salaam(Institute of Development Studies) 
  • Funding tier: Planning grant (Up to $100,000)

 

Improving small-scale fish trader livelihoods in Malawi: Data tools to improve market access 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Agri-food systems, Education, Health & nutrition, Youth empowerment 
  • Principal Investigators: Samson Katengeza (LUANAR); Abigail Bennett (MSU) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University (CANR); Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources 
  • Funding tier: Scaling grant (up to $200,000)

 

Using Health Information Technology Governance and Epidemiologic Approaches to Implement Sustainable Digital Health Systems in Central Uganda 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Health & nutrition 
  • Principal Investigators: Kelly Hirko (MSU), Michael Kizito (Makerere) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University (College of Human Medicine); Makerere University 
  • Funding tier: Small grant (up to $50,000)

 

The Evaluation of Inclusive Education Programs for Transition-Age Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Botswana and Ghana 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Education, Youth Empowerment  
  • Principal Investigators: Christiana Okyere (MSU), Boitumelo Magope (UB) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University (College of Education); University of Botswana; University of Education; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 
  • Funding tier: Planning grant (up up $100,000)

Global African Diaspora Grants 

Novel Composite Flours for Globally Nutritious Foods 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Agri-food systems, Health & nutrition 
  • Principal Investigators: Sharon Hooper (MSU), Eugenie Kayitesi (UP), Ian Thompson (UWI-JA) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University (CANR); University of Pretoria; The University of the West Indies (Jamaica) 
  • Funding tier: Scaling grant (up to $200,000)

 

Race/Ethnicity and the Question of Postcolonial Citizenship: A Comparative Study of East Africa and the Anglophone Caribbean 

  • AAP Priority Area(s): Culture, Education 
  • Principal Investigators: Dr. Monique D. A. Kelly (MSU), Dr. Cassandra Veney (USIU), Dr. Aaron Kamugisha (UWI - Barbados) 
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University (College of Social Science); United States International University-Africa; The University of the West Indies at Cave Hill (Barbados) 
  • Funding tier: Planning grant (up to $100,000)