This five-year, CA$20 million initiative aims to build a vibrant, intergenerational network of more than 600 African and European scientists through a career development model that combines mentoring, scientific training, and networking opportunities. Key partners are expected at the launch event, including representatives from the Government of Kenya, high commissioners and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Kenya, members of the AWARD community, and other prominent climate change scientists.
Climate change disproportionately affects Africa, and its negative effects are increasingly felt in agricultural and food systems. Scientific capacity is critical to support the African continent’s adaptation to a changing climate and to transform agriculture into a vehicle for economic prosperity and social development. Support is particularly important for francophone African scientists, who face additional challenges such as language barriers, low levels of research financing, and limited capacity to build networks. African women scientists face even more challenges and they are often left in the margins of agricultural research.
The One Planet Fellowship, jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the BNP Paribas Foundation, and the European Commission, aims to build a robust network of scientists to lead climate change research. They will be equipped to use a gender lens to address the climate change-related challenges facing Africa’s smallholder farmers. The inaugural cohort consists of 45 scientists (25 women and 20 men) from 12 African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia).
IDRC is building on this Fellowship with the One Planet Women project, which leverages donor funding to support the participation of an additional 30 emerging West African francophone women scientists. The project will be implemented and managed by AWARD, the lead organization on gender and leadership in sub-Saharan Africa.