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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Partnerships for sustainable solutions with Sub-Saharan Africa
With the 'Partnership for Sustainable Solutions with Sub-Saharan Africa', the BMBF - supported by the DLR Project Management Organisation - has created its own brand. Since 2010, cooperation has been initiated through mobility, exploratory and pilot measures and research projects have been carried out under this brand. The range of topics covered by the projects includes bioeconomics, health, the use of resources and materials. Three funding announcements have been published so far (2010, 2012, 2015, a next one is planned).
Promotion of measures for research and integrated, postgraduate education and training
With the third announcement of the 'Partnership for Sustainable Solutions with Sub-Saharan Africa', a new innovative concept was implemented at the end of 2016: Research and measures for postgraduate education and training (Master's and PhD) are interlinked within the projects. The knowledge generated from the research can thus flow directly into the education and training of postgraduates and thus prepare the next generation of scientists. The main topics of the announcement were bioeconomics, sustainable urban development and resource management (raw materials).
In close cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the DLR Project Management Organisation is implementing this BMBF funding measure; the focus of DLR's activities is on supporting the research component within the measure. It supports 13 projects over a period of up to four years. Some projects demonstrate the interface between bioeconomy and urban development with their research approaches. The interdisciplinarity in the projects and their synergy potential allow some of these projects to be networked beyond this in order to draw additional benefit from the overarching cooperation. This networking is promoted in a separate approach.
The projects involve partners from 14 African countries (Ethiopia, Algeria, Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda).
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.
At the request of the African Union, the BMBF will support other PAU institutes in developing their respective research agendas. To date, the number of institutes has grown to five, spread across Africa and working closely with partner institutions on the German side, including DLR, GIZ, and DAAD.
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.
The total funding from the BMBF amounts to up to € 50 million, the funding period extends until 2022. The focus of research is on frequently occurring infectious diseases (e.g. tuberculosis) and diseases caused by parasites (e.g. worm diseases). The projects contribute to the development of evidence-based healthcare in the African region, for example through improved diagnostic procedures and support for medical laboratories. 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).
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. Most recently, in 2019, as part of a collaboration with U.S. and Brazilian academies, both academies published a statement on the relationship between air pollution and health.
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 carried 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 took part in this project.
In addition, since 2015, the Leopoldina and NASAC have been bringing together stakeholders from science, business and society in so-called 'Science-Business Dialogue Workshops' to promote their mutual networking. There are also joint activities on the topic of 'Sustainable African Cities'.
DLR-PT as a partner in multilateral cooperation processes (EU projects)
DLR-PT's extensive experience in bilateral and multilateral cooperation also feeds into projects funded by the European Union (EU) in which DLR-PT acts as a cooperation partner or project coordinator. This work is a fundamental builing block in DLR-PT's high standing as a reliable partner in international networks.
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. The group of funding institutions from Africa and Europe provides funds for African-European research projects by implementing funding announcements that tap into national budgets . The EC contributes an additional budget share of 50% of the total amount of country contributions, which is also feeds into project funding.
In addition, the project aims to establish an African-European portal in the field of food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. A meta-governance model, the 'Programme and Innovation Management Cycle', was developed to coordinate the prioritisation of investment management and to support the valorisation of multilateral programme results. This includes the development of a common 'Theory of Change and Impact Pathway' (TCIP) as well as a sorting house mechanism and sorting house network. Existing initiatives, networks and stakeholders will explicitely be integrated.
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).
German participants include DLR-PT, representing the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as well as the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), representing the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food (BMEL). 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 funding announcement to the selection of the best projects to be funded.
In addition, DLR-PT actively contributed to the development of the AU-EU platform in the areas of food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture, integrating results from the projects CAAST-Net Plus, RINEA, ERAfrica and other multilateral programmes and projects into the 'Programme and Innovation Management Cycle (PIMC)' model. The LEAP-Agri projects were launched in September 2018 with a time span of three years.