Kenyan research institute in new partnership

June 1, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 1 – The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) has entered into a partnership with the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) which is the world\’s pre-eminent academy of sciences dedicated to the promotion of science in the South.

This alliance boosts the role of Icipe, the only institute in Africa working primarily on arthropods, in promoting insect science for food security and health in Africa, and in other developing regions.

As part of the agreement, Icipe joins the TWAS-UNESCO Associateship Scheme, a network of over 100 scientific centres of excellence from developing countries.

Started in 1994, the scheme aims to counteract brain drain by alleviating the isolation of scientists in the South, and to strengthen the research programmes of the collaborating centres. 

Under the initiative, Icipe will host associates – talented and promising researchers from developing countries, appointed through a highly competitive and merit-based process, for a fixed period of three years – at its facilities.

The associates are entitled to visit the Centre twice during their appointment, for durations of two to three months each time, to pursue their own research interests and/or collaborate with the researchers at icipe in programmes of common interest.

In addition, Icipe becomes the first partner in Africa of the TWAS South-South Fellowship Programme, which enables young scientists from developing countries to carry out postgraduate or postdoctoral research in developing countries other than their own, and allows more experienced scientists from developing countries to visit participating research centres as \’visiting scholars\’.

Icipe Director General, Prof Christian Borgemeister noted: “By collaborating with TWAS, we are building on the vision of Prof Thomas Odhiambo, the founding director of Icipe, who was also a founding fellow of TWAS.  Prof Odhiambo envisioned the harnessing of an indigenous scientific capacity, in Africa, and in the South as a whole, critical to the mission of icipe. Through the associates and young researchers that we will host at icipe, we will be able to share our wide-ranging expertise on food security and health with other developing countries. At the same time, we will be able to tap into some of the finest resources that the South has to offer.”

The Academy’s Executive Director, Prof Mohamed Hassan added: "TWAS is particularly pleased to be partnering with icipe to help train the next generation of scientists in Africa. TWAS and icipe share a long-standing scientific commitment to building scientific capacity in Africa. This effort represents another step in the ongoing journey to ensure that all countries have the requisite scientific know-how to meet the daunting challenges that they face."


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