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Fellowships to Help Avert Brain Drain in Africa

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By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – A Fellowship Program will fund 69 new projects at African universities in the coming months, bringing 52 professors and scholars from universities in the U.S. and Canada to universities in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda as visiting Fellows.

Together, the teams will develop curricula, conduct research, teach graduate students, and train and mentor students and professors in priority areas that were proposed by the African universities. The program is also accepting new applications from host universities and diaspora scholars for projects to be conducted in 2017. Deadline is December 8.

The Fellowships are funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to help avert brain drain in Africa. The United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Kenya provides strategic direction through Dr. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza and an Advisory Council he chairs.

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its fourth year, has helped 239 African-born scholars who have been living and working in North America to connect with their peers at universities throughout Africa. The program is designed to build capacity at the host institutions in Africa, and to develop long-term, mutually-beneficial partnerships between the universities.

The program selects projects that were proposed by the host universities and matches them with African-born scholars, covering the visiting scholars’ expenses, including transportation, a daily stipend, and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.

This year, the program has announced grants to alumni to build on successful collaborative projects they conducted on their visiting fellowships in previous years, and to fund groups of fellows to work together in order to deepen the ties among the faculty members and their home and host institutions. Selected projects that will receive funding this year include the following:

Ghana: A professor from Duke University will return to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to conduct applied research in geo-environmental engineering and to continue mentoring graduate students to the completion of their dissertations.

Nigeria: The University of Benin and Imo State University will host a group of three scholars to design an HIV/AIDS curriculum for faculty and a train-the-trainer curricula for community education.

South Africa: Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Stellenbosch University will jointly host a scholar from the University of British Columbia in Canada to cultivate their expertise in vascular biology while establishing a lab that will be made available to institutions of higher learning in the Western Cape.

Tanzania: An early-childhood scholar will evaluate and offer feedback on the current early curriculum at Aga Khan University-Institute of for Educational Development in East Africa. The scholar and faculty members will also explore the involvement of teachers and parents in gender awareness and literacy stereotypes.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge and the strength of our democracy.

An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, the IIE is considered the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. It works with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world.

United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) was founded in 1969 as the Africa campus of United States International University in San Diego, California. Today, the University operates as an independent, not-for-profit institution serving over 6,000 students representing 73 nationalities. [IDN-InDepthNews – 12 October 2016]

Photo: College of Engineering, KNUST auditorium. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

IDN is the flagship of International Press Syndicate.





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