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Sitting from left: Justine Nalunkuuma (AfricaLics PhD visiting fellow, Uganda), Ann Kingiri (AfricaLics secretariat and ACTS, Kenya), Edward Lorentz (University of Nice and AAU). Standing from left: Margrethe Holm Andersen (AAU), Prof. Cornelius Schutte (Stellenbosch University, South Africa), Bernadin Ahodode (AfricaLics PhD visiting fellow, Benin), Chipo Ngongoni (AfricaLis PhD visiting fellow, Zimbabwe), Rebecca Hanlin (AfricaLics secretariat and African Center for Technology Studies),  Rasmus Lema (Aalborg University), Dr. Narisi Mubangizi (Makerere University, Uganda), Susanne Bartram (AAU).

AfricaLics research seminar on innovation and economic development

In April 2019, Department of Business and Management hosted an AfricaLics seminar under the AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme.

AfricaLics PhD visiting fellows 2019

The AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme offers African PhD students in the field of innovation, economics and development an opportunity to study at Aalborg University and become part of research networks active in the field. The three PhD visiting fellows in 2019 are Chipo Ngongoni (Zimbabwe), Justine Nalunguumaa (Uganda) and Bernadin Ahodode (Benin).

The students all work with different aspects of the role and importance of networks and learning in fostering economic activity in their home countries. While Chipo focusses on health information platforms and systems, Justine works with innovation platforms in coffee production and the benefits of these for small holders. Finally, Bernadin uses econometric methods to investigate the role of triple helix in promoting economic development in Africa.

Ongoing research in innovation and economic development

During the seminar on April 11 in Aalborg, main emphasis was on ongoing research in innovation and economic development. Main areas of research discussed include research in health innovation, measures for ensuring transitioning to sustainable and green production and societies as well as the role of Artificial Intelligence and robots in the future economic development in African countries. The topics are closely related to the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 development agenda.

Professor Cornelius Schutte explained about research activities and the PhD programme at the Department of Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University and Dr. Narisi Mubangizi likewise presented ongoing activities at the Department of Agricultural Extension at Makerere University.

Enhancement of research capabilities

The AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship programme aims to enhance students’ research capabilities and improve their prospects for future participation in innovation and innovation research in their home countries. In order to do so, the programme provides time away from home to focus on the PhD dissertation and exposes the students to an international research environment and access to scientific literature and databases.

During their visit, which lasts until June, the students will give presentations on their research in various fora, attend selected courses for PhD students, make use of the library facilities, interact with their AAU mentors and work on their PhD dissertations.

The students are visited once by their home supervisors. The supervisors come partly to discuss progress of each student and ensure alignment of inputs by AAU mentors with those of the home supervisors – and partly to give presentations of ongoing research at their home universities and discuss possibilities for future collaboration with interested scholars at AAU and the AfricaLics network, which was established in 2012 and today counts more than 550 (mainly African) scholars, see www.africalics.org.

About the Visiting Fellowship Programme

The programme was developed in 2016-17 by Aalborg University in collaboration with The African Centre of Technology Studies (ACTS) with funding of The Swedish Development Coorporation Agency (SIDA). It is one of several AfricaLics research capacity development activities.

In early 2017, ACTS, which hosts the AfricaLics Secretariat, received funding for a second phase of support to research capacity development including funding for three new batches of visiting PhD fellows: four in 2018, four in 2019 and four in 2020.

The Visiting Fellowship Programme has in the second phase been extended also to include a pilot programme aimed at supporting young African researchers (Postdoc) working with innovation and development in their career development and thereby help develop research hubs in innovation and development at their home institutions.

Further Information

Margrethe Holm Andersen
Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University
Phone: 9940 2752
Email: bartram@business.aau.dk

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