UKRI strengthens African partnership

UKRI strengthens African partnership

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) have agreed a partnership to address the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, strengthen Africa-UK research collaborations and enhance research capacity across African and UK research communities.

The new partnership is part of UKRI’s ongoing efforts through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to build robust research systems across the Global South, enabling the best researchers from the UK to collaborate with the best researchers from across the globe to tackle challenges including climate change, infectious diseases, extreme poverty, fragile states and insecure food systems.

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the two organisations, a delegation of Vice Chancellors from ARUA, a pan-African network of research intensive universities, are visiting UKRI.

During their two-day trip, the ARUA delegation will meet with UKRI Chief Executive Sir Mark Walport; the Director of SOAS, University of London, Baroness Valerie Amos; and the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Dr Patrick Vallance. They will also be meeting with Vice Chancellors from the Russell Group universities.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General, ARUA said: “I am extremely pleased with this opportunity to work with UKRI. This partnership reflects the ideals of ARUA. I have always found the notion of collaboration the best way to get African research moving and globally competitive.”

Speaking about the significance of the new partnership, Professor Andrew Thompson, UKRI International Champion and Executive Chair of UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, explained: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Aryeetey and fellow ARUA Vice-Chancellors. Their visit marks the start of a truly exciting research adventure between the UK and universities across Africa. This partnership will create opportunities for our brightest minds to collaborate and co-create research to tackle some of the most pressing challenges we face and that will benefit local, national and international communities.”

Through GCRF investments, UKRI is already engaging with researchers from 35 African countries on projects to improve health and livelihoods, tackle extreme poverty, address environmental degradation and food insecurity, and work towards a resolution of conflict and forced displacement.

The partnership is an example of UKRI’s vision that international collaboration is key to ensuring world-leading research and development, and global challenges require global solutions, across nations and disciplines. Find out more about our international work by following the hashtag #UKRIGlobal on Twitter.

Further information

More information on GCRF.

ARUA was inaugurated in Dakar in March 2015, bringing together 16 of the region’s leading universities. Read more on the ARUA website.