Programme Advocating Women Scientists in STEM (PAWS)
The equality of men and women is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations and therefore of global relevance. The BMBF therefore addresses this issue prominently in its Africa Strategy (2018).
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The German-African Innovation Incentive Award – GAIIA
The "German-African Innovation Award" is a new instrument of the BMBF to strengthen innovative research in Africa and to translate research results into practical solutions that benefit African societies. The aim is to improve the living conditions of people in Africa. German-African partnerships are an important success factor.
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Support for the Pan-African University
The BMBF has been funding the establishment of the Pan-African University since 2015. The initial focus was on the PAU Institute for Water, Energy and Climate Change (PAUWES). The BMBF, supported by African and German experts, supported a research agenda process whose recommendations were published at the beginning of 2018. To implement the aforementioned research agenda, the BMBF is funding a research coordinator on site in Algeria. As part of a BMBF project on water and energy security, the first PAUWES PhD students are being trained.
At the request of the African Union, the BMBF will support other PAU institutes in developing their respective research agendas. The process has already begun for the PAU site in Nigeria, which focuses on life and earth sciences including health and agriculture (PAULESI).
Research networks on health innovations
The aim of the funding measure is to sustainably strengthen Germany's cooperation with sub-Saharan African countries in health research. This takes into account the important role of research in improving the health situation in developing countries.
Funding will be provided for German-African research networks that build on existing structures and take particular account of regional needs in their topics. The networks consist of one to two German and two to eight African partners and are coordinated by African scientists. Cooperation between non-university and university research or between research and care is welcomed. In addition to excellent research, the establishment and expansion of research capacities and the strengthening of intra-African networking are essential tasks of the networks.
As part of the measure, the BMBF will fund five projects with up to € 10 million each until 2021 and co-finance them adequately by the African partner countries. The focus of research is on frequently occurring infectious diseases (e.g. tuberculosis) and diseases caused by parasites (e.g. worm diseases). The projects also contribute to the expansion of laboratories and improved diagnostics as well as evidence-based health care. Partners from a total of 14 sub-Saharan African countries are involved (Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Cameroon, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia).
Gesundheitsnetze-Afrika (in German)
BMBF-Gesundheitsforschung (in German)
Research Chairs at the African Institutes for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)“
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) was founded in Cape Town/South Africa in 2003 to counter the critical shortage of mathematically trained experts in Africa. Following the example of AIMS-South Africa, five further centres have already been established in Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and Rwanda; more are to follow. In addition to the establishment of research chairs, the core of the initiative is the promotion of young, excellent young African scientists through master programs.
Supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the BMBF is establishing research chairs at AIMS locations in accordance with international standards. The first research chair in Senegal has been funded since 2012. This successful development was an important prerequisite for the BMBF's "German Research Chairs" funding measure, which was extended to Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon and Tanzania (2014-2021), being able to develop from this pilot measure. The chair holders at AIMS-Ghana, AIMS-South Africa, AIMS-Kamerun and AIMS-Tanzania started their work in September 2016, October 2016, April 2017 and January 2018 respectively. The establishment of further chairs, among others at the AIMS Centre in Rwanda, is planned.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will provide direct support for the chairs through measures to promote cooperation with German universities in order to achieve a lasting relationship with Germany. For reasons of sustainability, the financing of the chairs should be secured in the long term, e.g. by the host countries and/or AIMS.
Since 2011, the Leopoldina - National Academy of Sciences has maintained intensive cooperation with the "Network of African Science Academies" (NASAC) and the "Inter Academy Panel" (IAP), a network of science academies in the world's regions. The South African Academy of Sciences (Academy of Science of South Africa, ASSAf) is the Leopoldina's central partner on the African continent; both academies signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013.
The BMBF initially supported the Leopoldina's cooperation with NASAC (2012-2015). The focus here was on strengthening the structures of the African academies. They were to be given the opportunity to implement science-based policy advice and to establish and maintain dialogues between science, politics and business. Publications on the topics of climate, environment, health and biotechnology have already been produced with the aim of providing policy advice.
In cooperation with IAP, Leopoldina is carrying out a project on "Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture" (2015-2018). In addition, the academy networks EASAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council), NASAC (The Network of African Science Academies), AASSA (Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia) and IANAS (Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences) as well as further - altogether 130 - national science academies are participating in this project. The aim is to work on ten central scientific questions on the above-mentioned thematic focus and to draw up recommendations. Subsequently, the similarities and differences in the answers to the ten central questions will be presented. Such an analysis has not yet been carried out from the perspective of science.
DLR-PT as a partner in multilateral cooperation processes (EU projects)
DLR-PT's extensive experience from bilateral and multilateral cooperation also flows into projects funded by the European Union (EU), in which DLR-PT plays the role of cooperation partner or project coordinator. This work plays a decisive role in ensuring that the DLR-PT plays a central role as a reliable partner in international networks and that it develops further.
The LEAP-Agri (Long term EU-Africa research and innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture) project, co-funded by the European Commission (EC), was launched as part of the HLPD initiatives and the roadmap on food and food security and sustainable agriculture adopted in 2016. The group of funding institutions from Africa and Europe, within the framework of an announcement in LEAP-Agri with national funding budgets, provide funds for African-European research projects. The EC contributes an additional budget share of 50% of the total amount of the country contributions, which is also used for project funding. In addition to this funding of multilateral research consortia, the second objective of the project is to establish an African-European portal in the field of food and food security and sustainable agriculture, which addresses in particular the linking of the aspects of knowledge management, stakeholder dialogues and activities.
To this end, existing networks and actors will be approached in order to strengthen existing initiatives and, if necessary, to contribute to African-European cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI) with new complementary activities.
The countries involved in LEAP-Agri are Algeria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Germany, France, Finland, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Spain and Uganda. Turkey and the "Centro Internazionale di Alti Studi Agronomici mediterranei - Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari" (CIHEAM-IAMB as an international organisation based in Italy) are also involved.
From Germany, the DLR Project Management Organisation (DLR PT), representing the BMBF, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food (BMEL), the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) are involved. DLR PT is one of the three partners in the so-called Call Secretariat, the management structure that has developed and implemented the entire process from the publication of a multilateral, international call for proposals to the selection of the best projects to be funded. DLR PT thus plays a key role in this project.