Third Workshop, 13-17 December 2012, Chant d’Oiseau, Cotonou (Benin)
Almost one year after the last workshop in Bonn (Germany) the fellows, their mentors from the mentorship program and representatives of the Volkswagen Foundation and the Leibniz Universität Hannover came together in Cotonou (Benin) for a midterm workshop. In the framework of this workshop the fellows presented their research and career progress which induced fruitful discussions with the mentors of the mentorship program. Other topics addressed “Successful collaborative research and networking” and “What is good leadership?”.
A field trip to the “Songhai Project” (http://www.songhai.org), located at the capital city Port Novo, gave all participants an impressive insight into the Songhai mission “to develop alternatives allowing Africans to stand on their feet through agricultural entrepreneurship in an integrated development framework, enhancing agriculture, industry and services.”
We would like to thank all participants for their great contribution to the workshop and hence, to the VW Natural Resources Program itself.
Workshop GSI Bonn, 15-18 January 2012
To discuss the progress made and problems encountered during the first ten months of fellowship, a workshop was held in Bonn together with the fellows, their postdoctoral counterparts and representatives of the Volkswagen Foundation and the Leibniz Universität Hannover.
In addition, strategic considerations of career planning were addressed and the fellows presented their personal career plans.
Kick-off Workshop AICAD Kenya, 21-28 May 2011
To discuss issues related to the upcoming project work, a Kick-off meeting was held in Nairobi together with the fellows and organizers. The workshop took place at the African Institute for Capacity Development for the period of May 21-28, 2011. The workshop dealed with several relevant topics such as experimental design and statistical evaluation, carreer development strategies, aspects of proposal writing and writing scientific papers, and also provided the opportunity to interact and establish networks.
Natural Resources 2010
The Institute for Biological Production Systems of the Leibniz Universität Hannover successfully hosted the conference “Natural Resources 2010” within the Africa-Initiative of the Volkswagen Foundation.
The conference took place at the Leibnizhaus in the historic city center of Hannover from Monday, 25th October – Wednesday, 27th October 2010.
The overall intention of the Foundation´s Africa Initiative and the call “Resources, their Dynamics and Sustainability – Capacity Development in Comparative and Integrated Approaches” within the initiative is to provide junior scholars in Sub-Saharan Africa with opportunities to enhance their skills and academic qualifications. In addition, the funding program aims at establishing and reinforcing scientific networks.
At the conference, the young African postdoctoral scientists (List of participants) presented their research projects in the field of natural resources, and were subsequently interviewed by a peer-review committee in order to select the most promising scholars who will be awarded a research fellowship. Also invited to the conference were the German postdoctoral counterparts of the applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Dr. Detlef Hanne, Coordinator of the Volkswagen Foundation´s Africa-Initiative, the conference was a great success, because it "demonstrated that junior researchers from Africa are able to present research projects, which are relevant as well as internationally competitive. The support provided by the Foundation is full in line with its strategic approach to offer opportunities for potential future leaders in Sub-Sahara Africa."