International Studies & Programs



Back to News
Alliance for African Partnership Announces Winners of Grant Competition

Published: Friday, 17 Mar 2017
Author: Rachel Warner
Department: Office of the Dean

Note: Article updated Monday, May 8, with the addition of four grant awards.

Fifteen proposals have been chosen as the recipients of the Alliance for African Partnership's first-ever grant competition. The proposals were selected from more than 60 responses to the AAP's inaugural call for proposals.

The grants were awarded to proposals that exemplified the AAP mission of effecting positive change in Africa through meaningful, equitable partnerships. All proposals are led by teams that include both MSU faculty and partners from African organizations, and have the potential to create or build on long-term, sustainable collaborations.

Awardees will receive between $50,000-$200,000 for projects that target the AAP's priority areas of agri-food systems; water, energy and the environment; youth employment; education; cultural heritage development; and health and nutrition. Project activities include cooperative research, capacity building, outreach, network development, and bringing research to practice.

Small Grants: $50,000  

Addressing Non-Communicable Disease through Primary Care in Malawi

  • Lead Investigators: Rebecca Malouin (MSU), Amy Keenum (MSU), Martha Makwero (University of Malawi, College of Medicine)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Human Medicine, Social Science, and Natural Science); University of Malawi, College of Medicine (Malawi); Stellenbosch University (South Africa); Partners in Health (Malawi); Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit (Malawi); Dignitas International (Malawi)
  • Priority Area: Health and Nutrition

Farming Insects for Feed: Developing Partnerships for Sustainable Food Security in Malawi

  • Investigators: Eric Benbow (MSU), Jennifer Pechal (MSU), Jeremiah Kang'ombe (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources [LUANAR]), Kingsley Masamba (LUANAR), Andy Safalaoh (LUANAR), Arox Kamno'ona (University of Malawi, College of Medicine)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources); Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi); University of Malawi, College of Medicine (Malawi)
  • Priority Area: Agri-food Systems

Addressing the Agricultural Labor Burden in an Era of Feminization and Aging of Rural Communities in East Africa: A Human-Centered Design Approach to Solve Old Problems

  • Investigators: Jennifer Olson (MSU), Susan Wyche (MSU), Erik Goodman (MSU), Tim Schmidt (MSU), Hannah Robar (MSU), Ruth Oniang'o (Rural Outreach Africa), Eric Tarkleson (Enda Tech)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Communication Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, and BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action); Rural Outreach Africa (Kenya); Enda Tech (Tanzania); Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya)
  • Priority Area: Agri-food Systems

Planning Grants: $100,000  

Ubuntu: Museums and Communities Connect

  • Principal Investigators: Marsha MacDowell (MSU), Bongani Mgijima (Stellenbosch University)
  • Primary Partners: C. Kurt Dewhurst (MSU), Aleia Brown (MSU), Tiffany Caesar (MSU), Masa Soko (Stellenbosch University), Ulrich Wolff (Stellenbosch University)
  • Institutional Partners: Michigan State University Museum; Stellenbosch University Museum with Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum (South Africa)
  • Priority Area: Cultural Heritage Preservation

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in the Nigerian Poultry Sector

  • Principal Investigators: Laura Schmitt Olabisi (MSU), Bukola Osuntade (Oya State College), Saweda Liverpool-Tasie (MSU), Oluwafunmiso Adeola Olajide (University of Ibadan)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources); Oyo State College of Agriculture and 
  • Technology (Nigeria); University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
  • Priority Areas: Agri-food Systems; Water, Energy, and the Environment

Micronutrient Deficiency and Long-term Functional Deficit in School-Aged Ugandan Children with and without Chronic HIV-Infection

  • Principal Investigator: Amara Ezeamama (MSU)
  • Principal Investigator & Project Supervisor: Sarah Zalwango (Kampala City Council Authority)
  • Co-Investigators & Research Mentors: Philippa Musoke (Makerere), Michael Boivin (MSU)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine); Kampala City Council Authority (Uganda); Makerere University (Uganda)
  • Priority Area: Health and Nutrition

Energy Security for Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa

  • Corresponding Author: Robert Richardson (MSU)
  • Investigators: Cloé Garnache (MSU), Pascal Nzokou (MSU), Leo Zulu (MSU), Charles Jumbe (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources [LUANAR]), Judith Kamoto (LUANAR), John Kazembe (LUANAR), Stephen Makungwa (LUANAR), Elias Kuntashula (University of Zambia), Antony Chapoto (Indaba Agriculture Policy Research Institute)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Social Science); Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi); University of Zambia (Zambia); Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (Zambia)
  • Priority Area: Water, Energy, and Environment

Countering Violent Extremism in Mali: Critical Reasoning, Moral Character, and Democratic Resilience through Peace Education

  • Principal Investigators: Stephen Esquith (MSU), Maria Diarra Keita (Institute for Popular Education)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Residential College in the Arts and Humanities); Institute for Popular Education (Mali)
  • Priority Areas: Education; Youth Empowerment; Cultural Heritage Preservation

An Innovative Model for "Connecting Science" for Transforming Agriculture in Africa

  • Lead Principal Investigator: Cholani Weebadde (MSU)
  • Co-Investigators: Hashini Galhena Dissanayake (MSU), Patricia Acheampong (Crops Research Institute), Eric Owusu Danquah (MSU/CSIR), Princess Adjei-Frimpong (MSU)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources); Crops Research Institute (Ghana)
  • Priority Area: Agri-food Systems

Advancing the Social and Environmental Benefits of Agro-ecology productions in Arid West Africa

  • Principal Investigators: Karamoko Diarra (University Cheikh Anta Diop), Muraleedharan Nair (MSU)
  • Institutional Partners: University Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal), MSU (Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Social Science), Community of Niakhène (Senegal)
  • Priority Areas: Water, Energy, and Environment; Agri-food Systems

Scaling Grants: $200,000  

MSU-African Alliance for Youth Sport Entrepreneurship (AAYSE): Applying Positive Youth Development through Sport to Nurture Youth Entrepreneurship

  • Principal Investigaor: Leapetswe Malete (MSU)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Dan McCole (MSU)
  • Partners: Tshepang Tshube (University of Botswana), Thuso Mphela (University of Botswana), Cyprian Maro (UDSM), Reginald Ocansey (University of Ghana)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Colleges of Education and Agriculture and Natural Resources); University of Botswana (Botswana); University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania); University of Ghana (Ghana)
  • Priority Areas: Youth Empowerment; Education

Improving the Enabling Environment for Fertilizer Markets in Africa: An Institutional Collaborative Approach to Value Chain Development

  • Partnership PIs: Nicole Mason (MSU), Charles Jumbe (ReNAPRI/LUANAR), Joshua Ariga (International Fertilizer Development Center), Maria Wanzala-Mlobela (AFAP), Katrin Kuhlmann (Harvard/Georgetown)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources); Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (Zambia); International Fertilizer Development Center (U.S.); African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (South Africa); New Markets Lab (U.S.)
  • Priority Area: Agri-food Systems

A Partnership for Training Caregivers to Prevent Konzo Disease from Toxic Cassava and Enhance Neurodevelopment in very Young Congolese Children

  • Principal Investigators: Michael Boivin (MSU), Desire Tshala-Katumbay (University of Kinshasa/Oregon Health & Sciences University), Esperance Kashala-Abotnes (University of Kinshasa/University of Bergen)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine), University of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Priority Area: Health and Nutrition

Young Innovators in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Development (YIELD)

  • Principal Investigator: Felix Kwame Yeboah (MSU), Julius Gatune (African Centre for Economic Transformation), Ntengua Mdoe (Sokoine University of Agriculture)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources), African Centre for Economic Transformation (Ghana), Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania)
  • Priority Area: Youth Empowerment

Documenting Endangered and Threatened East African Languages

  • Investigators: Deo Ngonyani (MSU), Ann Biersteker (MSU), Angelina Nduku Kioko (United States International University), Josephat Rugemalira (Tumaini University)
  • Institutional Partners: MSU (College of Arts and Letters and International Studies and Programs), United States International University (Kenya), Tumaini University (Tanzania)
  • Priority Area: Cultural Heritage Preservation

Proposal Distribution


  • 8: projects with women lead MSU PIs
  • 8: projects with women African partner PIs

Priority Areas

  • 3: Education and Youth Empowerment
  • 3: Health and Nutrition
  • 2: Cultural Heritage Preservation
  • 4: Agri-food Systems
  • 3: Water, Energy, and the Environment


  • 5: Southern Africa
  • 4: West Africa
  • 4: East Africa
  • 2: Multi-regional