Top scholars discuss Africa's place in research and innovation

Participants during the AfricaLics PhD Academy at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi. [Standard]

Kenya is hosting Africa’s top academics for peer review and discussions around how innovation can be harnessed to drive the continent’s future. 

Participants include doctorate students from countries in East Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa, who see innovation as a catalyst for growth. 

The meeting is taking place amid sustained calls to rethink opportunities for science, technology and innovation in Africa in the wake of challenges in mobilising resources for technological advancement.

Dubbed the 8th AfricaLics PhD Academy the talks – which kicked off yesterday at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi – will run for 10 days and are being hosted by the Jaramogi Odinga Oginga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) and the AfricaLics Secretariat based at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS). 

AfricaLics refers to the African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems and brings together scholars, researchers and policy analysts who study development and innovation in an African context. AfricaLics PhD Academies were set up to support the training of African Doctoral students.

“The AfricaLics PhD Academy started 10 years ago in Nairobi and has returned this year to its birthplace. At the end of this 8th Academy, we will have trained over 200 PhD students in this emerging field of study for the continent” said, Prof. Rebecca Hanlin, ACTS’ Non-Resident Fellow and member of the AfricaLics Secretariat.  

The academy provides an opportunity for PhD students enrolled at African universities who work in the field of innovation and development studies to gain more knowledge of this burgeoning field, meet leading academics in this field and receive feedback on their PhD studies.

“The Academy provides an opportunity for students who often sit in disciplinary departments to experience this new emerging multi-disciplinary field and become members of a network of scholars who work in this field, providing an important peer support system as they continue their careers,” Prof Hanlin said.   

The AfricaLics network is an academic research and capacity-building network that focuses on how innovation impacts economic and social development in African countries. The Academy is taking place in French and English with interpretation services to increase inclusion from across the continent. 

In February, ACTS signed an MoU with JOOUST to host the Visiting Fellowship Programme (VFP) under the AfricaLics project. 

“We are honoured to have been able to host the PhD Academy and the VFP programme,” said Prof Benard Muok, the university’s Director at the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Partnerships.

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