International Studies & Programs

Alliance for African Partnership to Welcome Eight Female Early Career Researchers as Visiting Scholars to Michigan State University

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Published: Wednesday, 10 Jul 2019 Author: Justin Rabineau

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) has finalized the selection of its inaugural cohort for the African Futures Leadership Program. The program will officially launch in Fall 2019 with the arrival at MSU of eight female early career researchers from AAP consortium member institutions from across the continent. 

The main objective of the African Futures Research Leadership Program is to train a cadre of African researchers that will return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their communities, help solve Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation of African scholars.

“In Africa, on average, only 30% of researchers are women. The AAP’s African Futures Program is designed to address this critical gap, and we are excited to support the next generation of African women scholars.” - Dr. José Jackson-Malete, AAP Co-Director

The visiting scholars will be jointly supervised by faculty members from Michigan State University (MSU) and their home institution. This mentorship will focus on research for impact, writing of scholarly and/or policy publications, dissemination of research results, and grant proposals. The early career researchers will also participate in a structured academic advancement program while building lasting connections with MSU staff and other researchers within their cohort. They will also participate in the Future Africa Research Leadership Program at the University of Pretoria (UP), which will provide them with training in the areas of thought leadership, team development, research development, engagement and collaboration. Through this program they will also build south-south collaboration with other African researchers. Additionally, the co-mentors from MSU and African universities will spend a week at each other's university to continue research collaboration. 
The early career researchers selected are:

  • Amelia Ngozi Odo - University of Nigeria, Nsukka
    • Mentors - Evelyn Nwagu (UNN) and Masako Fujita (MSU)
  • Amulen Deborah Ruth - Makerere University, Uganda
    • Mentors - Michael Ocaido (Makerere) and Eric Benbow (MSU)
  • Gertrude Mphwanthe - Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi
    • Mentors - Alexander A. Kalimbira (LUANAR) and Lorraine Weatherspoon (MSU)
  • Helen Agu - University of Nigeria, Nsukka
    • Mentors - Joy Ezeilo (UNN) and Meredith Gore (MSU)
  • Linda Chukwurah - University of Nigeria, Nsukka
    • Mentors - Elsie Chizua Umeano (UNN) and Lepsetswe Malete (MSU)
  • Innocensia John - University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    • Mentors - Razack Lokina (UDSM) and Sieg Snapp (MSU)
  • Welore Tamboura - University of Arts and Letters of Bamako, Mali
    • Mackie Samake (UALB) and Stephen Esquith (MSU)
  • Ndèye Penda Ndiaye - Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal
    • Mbacke Sembene (CADU) and Cedric Gondro (MSU)

Mentors and early career researchers were selected based on how their work aligned with AAP's six priority areas: agri-food systems, water, energy, and environment, youth empowerment, education, culture, and health and nutrition. They will join a variety of projects such as exploring the gendered dimensions of wildlife trafficking across Africa, researching agroeconomic systems in Malawi and Tanzania, and empowering peace education in Mali.