African scientists set to collaborate

The University of Pretoria launched Future Africa to promote transdisciplinary research excellence and foster the development of research networks, partnerships and training./ Supplied
The University of Pretoria launched Future Africa to promote transdisciplinary research excellence and foster the development of research networks, partnerships and training./ Supplied

A new generation of scientists now have a place to collaborate and share ideas to develop new research projects.

This will be done through Future Africa Institute, a flagship of the University of Pretoria, which was launched on Friday.

The multimillion rand green facility boasts the modern living quarters for post-graduate students, accommodation for visitors, a dining hall, a research commons for interactive work, a state-of-the-art conference centre and crop-based gardens.

Rosemary Musesengwa from the department of psychiatry at the University of Zimbabwe said the hub will make it easier for scientists from across the globe to work together in one space.

"Scientists work in their little corners but now we will work together and come up with sustainable solutions. I've learned about transdisciplinary research, something that will help us combat global challenges on our continent," Musesengwa said.

She said the institute will help future scientists think out the box and provide them with leadership skills.

Michael Chipeta, a lecturer at the University of Malawi who has been on the African science leadership programme under Future Africa, said the institute will bring scientists from different countries together.

The institute will focus on promoting academic leadership by developing local and African science leaders and a boost the number of researchers on the continent through leadership development programmes.

UP's vice-chancellor and principal, professor Tawa Kupe, described Future Africa as a space to create new knowledge in ways to address current and emerging complex issues. "We'll find solutions from a holistic view point because problems rarely occur in a vacuum. We aim to transform the world through African research excellence."

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