Media-Center

Knowledge for Tomorrow: Meeting of African Junior Researchers Boosts Research Network

On 14th and 15th October more than 60 young researchers from Africa came to Hanover to attend a scholarly meeting organized by the Volkswagen Foundation. For the first time, all the postdoctoral fellows supported within the Foundation’s funding initiative "Knowledge for To-morrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa" came together and had an opportunity for a face-to-face with experts from around the world.

Their names are Patience Mutopo, David Kyaddondo and Roland Azibo Balgah. They live in different parts of sub-Saharan Africa, carry out research there, and share a sense of commitment to the future of science in their region. Together with several other excellent young researchers, they herald in the next phase of the Foundation's involvement in Africa.

Image 1 of 9
Fully committed and proactive: Dr. Martha Awo from Ghana and Dr. Roland Azibo Balgah from Cameroon are among the first young African postdocs in the social sciences to be awarded a fellowship so they can do their research in their home country.
Fully committed and proactive: Dr. Martha Awo from Ghana and Dr. Roland Azibo Balgah from Cameroon are among the first young African postdocs in the social sciences to be awarded a fellowship so they can do their research in their home country.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
Unbroken good humor also on the second day of the conference: The leader of the "International" team of the Volkswagen Foundation, Dr. Almut Steinbach (second from left) and Africa expert Dr. Cora Ziegenbalg (center) visibly pleased about the high quota of successful applicants.
Unbroken good humor also on the second day of the conference: The leader of the "International" team of the Volkswagen Foundation, Dr. Almut Steinbach (second from left) and Africa expert Dr. Cora Ziegenbalg (center) visibly pleased about the high quota of successful applicants.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
In future, she will be investigating the transformation processes taking place in her home country, Zimbabwe: Patience Mutopo (center) answering questions put by her research colleagues after having made an impressive presentation.
In future, she will be investigating the transformation processes taking place in her home country, Zimbabwe: Patience Mutopo (center) answering questions put by her research colleagues after having made an impressive presentation.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
Attendees of the conference leaving "Point Sud" in Bamako following a series of stimulating discussions on exciting project ideas. The Africa Initiative is enriched by yet another facet.
Attendees of the conference leaving "Point Sud" in Bamako following a series of stimulating discussions on exciting project ideas. The Africa Initiative is enriched by yet another facet.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
Participants at the selection conference held in Mali's capital city, Bamako, in 2012 present their proposed research to a committee of international experts. Eight of the eleven candidates invited to attend managed to convince the committee that their idea is worth supporting: A great success.
Participants at the selection conference held in Mali's capital city, Bamako, in 2012 present their proposed research to a committee of international experts. Eight of the eleven candidates invited to attend managed to convince the committee that their idea is worth supporting: A great success.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
On the last day the participants undertook an excursion on the Niger in a pirogue, a banana-shaped wooden boat. They had a picnic lunch on a small island in the middle of the river. African drums added to the party mood.
On the last day the participants undertook an excursion on the Niger in a pirogue, a banana-shaped wooden boat. They had a picnic lunch on a small island in the middle of the river. African drums added to the party mood.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
Fully committed and proactive: Dr. Martha Awo from Ghana and Dr. Roland Azibo Balgah from Cameroon are among the first young African postdocs in the social sciences to be awarded a fellowship so they can do their research in their home country.
Fully committed and proactive: Dr. Martha Awo from Ghana and Dr. Roland Azibo Balgah from Cameroon are among the first young African postdocs in the social sciences to be awarded a fellowship so they can do their research in their home country.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
Although sitting hunched up and being rocked a little in the boat – everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The boat trip, and the whole surrounding event, was organized by the Center for Interdisciplinary Africa Research (ZIAF) in Frankfurt am Main and the "Point Sud – Lokales Wissen" center in Bamako.
Although sitting hunched up and being rocked a little in the boat – everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The boat trip, and the whole surrounding event, was organized by the Center for Interdisciplinary Africa Research (ZIAF) in Frankfurt am Main and the "Point Sud – Lokales Wissen" center in Bamako.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung
Attendees of the conference leaving "Point Sud" in Bamako following a series of stimulating discussions on exciting project ideas. The Africa Initiative is enriched by yet another facet.
Attendees of the conference leaving "Point Sud" in Bamako following a series of stimulating discussions on exciting project ideas. The Africa Initiative is enriched by yet another facet.
© Melanie Gärtner for VolkswagenStiftung

The image material available for download here may only be used for editorial purposes referring to the Volkswagen Foundation and its funded projects. To this purpose, publication is authorized free of charge provided that the photographer's name is indicated. It is not permitted to process, copy or convert the image data in a manner that distorts their meaning.