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A Collaborative Project on Geo-spatial Technology Exchange Bridge across the Atlantic for environmental and Natural Resource management and curricula development. Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to Support 57 Projects in Africa

Kericho, May, 2016 – University of Kabianga (UOK) was selected by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) to host an African Diaspora scholar from the United States to work with on a collaborative project to identify emerging spatial technologies, the prospective to increase technology opportunities to empower community as well as initiate MSc curricula development in Urban Forestry and in Hydrology and watershed Management. Dr. Zablone Owiti (UoK) will lead the project on behalf of the School of Natural Resource and Environmental Management , together with Professor Fulbert L Namwamba, a Professor of GIS and Hydrology from Southern University Urban Forestry Baton Rouge, Louisiana United States.

Geo-spatial Technology Exchange Bridge project will promote spatial technologies and increase the potential of technology to empower community. It will also promote capacity building in planning and management of urban forests as well as conservation and implementation of water related environmental services at local level. The team will analyze researchable areas to implement the objectives of the project by assessing the potential of the existing ICT infrastructure and the full costs of establishing a state-of-the art functional Geospatial laboratory, training both staff and students at the University in experiential learning in research and evaluate, collect resources and design draft framework for the M. Sc Urban Forestry curriculum and M. Sc. in Hydrology & Watershed Management. This will be accompanied with site visits to Kenyatta University in Nairobi, University of Eldoret, and Kenya Forests Service Headquarters in Nairobi which have a successful educational GIS Center of Excellence. Other visits will include ESRI and OAKAR Services Limited in Nairobi to do thorough costing of future projections of GIS. This project will increase the application of advanced technology opportunities in conservation at local level.

The University of Kabianga project is one of 57 projects that will pair African Diaspora scholars with one of 41 higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities in the coming months.  The collaborating fellow, Professor Namwamba is one of a total of 169 African Diaspora scholars who have been awarded Fellowships to travel to Africa over the first three years of the program. The projects span all disciplines from agroforestry, integrated natural resource management to e-learning modules for nursing, and from ethnomusicology to military mental health.

This innovative fellowship program facilitates engagement between scholars born in Africa who are now based in the United States or Canada and scholars in Africa on mutually beneficial academic activities. The program is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, through Dr. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, who chairs the Advisory Council, and is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) Advisory Council, comprised of academic leaders from Africa and prominent African Diaspora academics, has remarked on the quick growth, quality, impact and uniqueness of the program, which allows African universities to take the lead in proposing projects that meet their needs and hosting African Diaspora scholars at their institutions.

According to Dr. Zeleza, Vice Chancellor of USIU-Africa, who chairs the program’s Advisory Council, “Diaspora knowledge networks that bring together academics across disciplines and help to facilitate scholarly collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, and networking opportunities are an important component of brain circulation. Diaspora academics constitute a critical facet of higher education internationalization. The connections fostered through them ultimately support capacity building and innovation in home and host countries. Unique in its organization, CADFP offers opportunities for truly collaborative, innovative and transformative engagements between African Diaspora academics in Canada and the United States and African higher education institutions in six countries.”

Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda were eligible to submit project requests to host a scholar for 14 to 90 days; prospective hosts were invited but not required to name a proposed scholar in their project requests. The proposed scholar and project requests were each evaluated by a review committee and were approved by the Advisory Council. Scholars born in Africa who live in the United States or Canada and work in an accredited college or university in either of those two countries were eligible to apply to be on a roster of available candidates. IIE maintains a scholar roster to facilitate matches, according to the discipline specializations, expertise, activities and objectives described in a project request. The fellowship for the project visit includes a daily stipend, transportation, visa funds and health insurance coverage.

Eligible universities can submit a project request via the online portal to host a Fellow for projects starting December 1. The application deadline is June 5, 2016, 11:59 PM EST. The application portal is open until July 5, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.



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