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IDRC Board visits East Africa

October 17, 2017

In July, a group from IDRC’s Board of Governors travelled to eastern Africa to visit some of the Centre's research grantees in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The week-long visit, organized by IDRC’s Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (ROSSA) revolved around six themes that were explored via presentations, field visits, roundtable discussions with a cross-section of the Centre’s partners, and mini-exhibitions of agricultural based projects:

  • employment creation for women and youth through agricultural entrepreneurship;
  • capacity development of think tanks;
  • strengthening health systems;
  • women’s economic empowerment;
  • climate change adaptation and mathematical modelling; and
  • partnerships for innovation

The Board delegation, comprised of Mary Anne Chambers, Dominique Corti, Shainoor Khoja, Chandra Madramootoo, John McArthur, and Barbara Trenholm, was accompanied by IDRC President Jean Lebel, Vice-President of Corporate Strategy and Communications Joanne Charette, ROSSA Regional Director Simon Carter, and Kathryn Touré, Trent Hoole, and Elizabeth Muriithi of IDRC.

The delegation had the opportunity to interact with community members during several field visits in Uganda. At New Faces New Voices, they met young female school dropouts (16-30 years) who are benefitting from technical skills training. In the Kawempe District, the delegation met members of the Ikamiro Women’s Group, who are successfully running projects through the “Fermented food for life” project, which is also helping youth to start businesses.

The delegation in community
The delegation with the members of Women's Group
The delegation at a woman's school

During the delegation’s visit, Jean Lebel and Dr Molapo Qhobela, chief executive officer of South Africa’s National Research Foundation, announced the winning projects in Kenya and Uganda under the new South Africa–Canada Research Chairs Initiative. The Kenya Research Chair will focus on the use of nanotechnology to develop materials to provide solutions for current environmental issues. In Uganda, once officially approved by government, the Chair will lead research on human-wildlife interactions and their impact on the rural poor in tropical countries.