Announcing new partnership with Rwanda National Commission of Science and Technology

The Government of Rwanda has taken a bold step by inaugurating a National Commission of Science and Technology (NCST) to advise on, monitor and evaluate, and coordinate science, technology, and innovation (STI) related activities across Rwanda’s economy. The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) believes that robust, well-planned STI investments and coordination can drive sustained economic development, so it is with great excitement that we announce that GKI has been selected as a partner to assist NCST in developing its Five-Year Strategic Plan. Applying its expertise in strengthening innovation systems as well as a demonstrated commitment to Rwanda’s socio-economic development, GKI will assist NCST in developing and vetting this guiding document. To set this process in motion, GKI Program Officer Andrew Gerard traveled to Rwanda in May 2014 to assess and map STI-related programs taking place in Rwanda’s economy relevant to NCST.  Andrew conducted interviews with key stakeholders throughout the public and private sector, including experts in agriculture, energy, education, and other sectors to identify demand for STI services and to understand how to deliver on this demand. Armed with these insights, GKI will next carry out an analysis designed to guide the NCST on how to maximize strengths, overcome weaknesses, seize available opportunities, and avoid threats.  We will then work with NCST staff to develop a Five-Year Strategic Plan.  Given the strong trajectory of STI activity in Rwanda and the mutual commitment to leveraging its power for economic development, GKI anticipates a sustained, fruitful, and rewarding partnership with NCST. Contributors: Caroline Smeallie and Andrew Gerard   […]

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Thinking While Doing: What We’ve Been Reading, v. IV

Looking for something new to read this weekend? Check out these suggestions from some of GKI’s fantastic staff.  This fourth installation of our “What We’ve Been Reading” series is particularly exciting because it features selections from GKI’s two new interns, Karim Bin-Humam and Caroline Smeallie. Happy reading! […]

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Announcing LINK Round IV: Solving Challenges in Africa Through Collaboration

The Global Knowledge Initiative is proud to announce the commencement of a fourth round of our flagship partnership-forging, LINK (Learning and Innovation Network for Knowledge and Solutions) program.  GKI designed LINK to harness the power of international collaboration to solve development challenges.  Specifically, LINK seeks to solve challenges that beckon for scientific and technical research, scientific and technical education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  The LINK process involves four core functions: activating communities of practice, locating resources, enabling sustainable partnerships by learning shared tools and processes for collaborative innovation, and connecting people and resources together into durable purpose-driven networks to solve challenges. The fourth round of LINK targets researchers from East and Southern Africa working on challenges in the fields of agriculture, food security, water and land management, and/or climate change.  Applicants must submit their completed Request for Engagement by January 17, 2013.  GKI will announce the winning proposal in Spring 2014, after which the LINK network-formation process will begin. Distinct from typical research grant programs, LINK eschews traditional methods of delivering development assistance in favor of fostering collaborative networks of stakeholders in the academic, public, and private sectors.  The program is not a direct funding mechanism.  Rather, LINK provides participants with the tools to solve their challenges: practical trainings in collaboration, communication, and networking; an in-depth analysis of the participant’s challenge context; a small amount of seed funding to initiate partnership formation; assistance in developing a working network; and a design process that helps define specific challenges and determine the best ways to tackle them.   […]

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Team from AFRISA & PSU Kick off Haymaking Business Training for Ugandan & Kenyan Youth

We are proud to announce the commencement of trainings next week in Uganda for youth to learn the technology, production, and business of haymaking. On June 16th, 70 students, extension workers, and farmers from Uganda and Kenya will gather outside Kampala to learn the intricacies of the haymaking business in a two week intensive training program.  These trainings are an important component of the, “Youth Employment and Income Enhancement Project (YEIEP): Haymaking as a Business Opportunity,” spearheaded by a research team composed of Michael Kansiime and John Kabasa from AFRISA (African Institute for Strategic Animal Resource Services and Development), and Sjoerd Duiker and Ephraim Govere from Penn State University. Through a series of workshops and training modules, students will gain the technical knowledge and management skills needed to start their own haymaking businesses.  Upon completion of training, they will be awarded the “Artisan Certificate in Hay Technology, Production and Business of AFRISA, Makerere University”.  Students will then pioneer their hay businesses in their respective communities, with mentoring and guidance from the AFRISA Enterprise nurturing team over a period of four months. As part of an effort to address the high unemployment rate among youth in Uganda and Kenya, YEIEP aims to create haymaking businesses in the region and provide youth with the skills needed to become entrepreneurs.  With this project, the YEIEP team hopes to foster new employment opportunities for youth and encourage future partnerships on this issue. The YEIEP team are working with the proceeds of an up to $20,000 USD prize that they won following the GKI and Penn State-organized 2012 Africa Collaboration Colloquium. The Collaboration Challenge Prize gave the YEIEP team the boost they needed to develop training materials, and hold their upcoming training. Contributor: Srujana Penumetcha […]

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