In spring 2018, the German Ministry of Education and Research awarded the German-African Innovation Promotion Prize to four African researchers and their German partners. Two of the award-winning collaborations are funded by the Volkswagen Foundation in the frame of its Africa Initiative.
Dr. Isaiah Etemo Muchilwa, Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya, was sponsored as a Fellow in the Foundation's Livelihood Management Program; together with his German cooperation partner Prof. Dr. Oliver Hensel from the University of Kassel, he receives the award for the project “Innovative cereal drying and handling technology to combat aflatoxin contamination in Kenya's maize supplies”.
Dr. Kolawole Adisa Olonade, University of Lagos, Nigeria, received the award for the project “Low-Carbon Livelihoods - Cassava residues for performance materials”, carried out in cooperation with Dr. Wolfram Schmidt from the German Institute for Materials Research and Testing. The close cooperation between the two scientists emerged from a series of symposia developed by the institute and supported by the
Foundation in the years 2015 to 2017.
Fruitful KEYS Symposia
At three KEYS Symposia (Knowledge Exchange for Young Scientists) lasting several days each, young construction experts from a number of African countries were able to exchange ideas with renowned international experts in the field.
The focus was on the building materials cement and concrete and the innovative further development in the direction of bio-concrete – for example by recycling the ash from cassava or rice husks, which is available locally in large quantities.
The KEYS symposia have opened up a variety of contacts and given a number of young scientists the decisive impetus for their careers. For example, participant Alice Titus Bakera from Tanzania was able to transfer to the University of Cape Town after completing her Bachelor's degree. Following her excellent degree, she will now receive a scholarship to complete her doctorate there.
Efforts to promote cooperation and capacity building in Africa continue at BAM: A major conference “Innovation, Science, Engineering and Education (ISEE)” is planned for January 2019 in Nairobi. It will focus on issues surrounding sustainable construction and the provision of adequate education for the next generation. Registration for the event, which is also supported by the Foundation, is free of charge.
Background: the German-African Innovation Promotion Prize
The prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements of African researchers and at the same time supports German research and innovation actors in the further development of their cooperation with African partners. The prize, which is endowed with 15,000 Euro each, is awarded in the form of project funding for German-African cooperation Projects.