The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa has released a call for expressions of interest to identify potential hosts for regional nodes of the Future Earth Africa Hub across four African Union (AU) regions: East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, and West Africa. This move comes after the NRF was selected as the host for the Future Earth Global Secretariat Hub for Africa in March 2022, aiming to expand the Hub's presence across the continent.
The NRF's phased implementation strategy is designed to establish a fully functional Africa Hub with finalized governance structures by early 2024. The Africa Hub operates as part of a global initiative, integrating Africa's sustainability science, policy, and funding communities into the worldwide sustainability science arena. It aligns with the strategic goals of nine Future Earth Global Secretariat hubs worldwide, including Canada, China, France, Japan, South Asia, Sweden, Taipei, and the United States.
The Future Earth Africa Hub, featuring its Leadership Centre co-hosted by Rhodes University and the University of Pretoria, will comprise five strategically located nodes: Southern Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, and West Africa. These nodes aim to facilitate regional participation and collaboration, supported by academic partner institutions and science granting councils.
The call invites expressions of interest from qualifying African institutions, highlighting the Africa Hub's commitment to integrating the needs and perspectives of the continent into global sustainability science. The Hub's objectives include advancing sustainability science in Africa, developing networks, and addressing regional priorities such as research uptake, capacity development for early-career scientists, institutional strengthening, and centres of competence.
The Future Earth Africa Hub regional nodes are intended to support and align with the implementation of Future Earth Africa Global Secretariat programs at a regional level. Eligible hosting entities must provide adequate physical facilities, an efficient research support ecosystem, and IT infrastructure. The deadline for expressions of interest is set for January 12, 2024.
Future Earth, a global initiative launched in 2012, focuses on advancing sustainability science by initiating, convening, coordinating, and communicating global sustainability research.
Article by RB Journalist