Rhodes University has won an international excellence award for its water research project. Photo: Rhodes
Rhodes University has won an international excellence award for its water research project. Photo: Rhodes

Rhodes University’s water research project wins excellence award

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jul 17, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - In a partnership programme between United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) and African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), which tackle global challenges such as climate change, poverty, disease, food insecurity and fragile states, Rhodes University has won an excellence award for its research. 

Through the partnership programmes, UKRI and ARUA select four research projects tackling global issues from universities across Africa in order to expedite the research in the specified fields.

In a statement released on Thursday, Rhodes University, announced that its Institute for Water Research was one of four excellence award winners. 

The ARUA–UKRI  programme supports 13 ARUA centres of excellence and research excellence to support four multidisciplinary and multinational projects.  

The director of the Institute for Water Research, Professor Carolyn Palmer, led the award-winning project, titled "Unlocking resilient benefits from African water sources". 

This award enables recipients to develop into expert hubs where leading researchers can collaborate and undertake world-class research priority themes such as water and energy. 

Palmer said they were elated to be part of the international research consortium. 

“Water is fundamental to thriving human life and society, and people are inextricably part of the natural environment. 

“But with growing demands on water across Africa, and increasing constraints on supply, there is an urgent need for new research, methodologies and practices to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and realise the Africa Water Vision 2025,” Palmer said. 

This will also see researchers from South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and the UK forming an African water research cohort that will address water-related SDGs. 

UKRI’s international champion, Professor Andrew Thompson, said a genuine global response was needed to sustainably address global challenges, and that meant forging stronger partnerships that were fair, equitable and reciprocal between researchers from both hemispheres. 

“This exciting research programme with ARUA is supporting research that transcends national boundaries and will produce different ways of thinking about challenges and different solutions to tackling them,” Thompson said. 

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, ARUA secretary-general, said he wants to see a world where discussion about global health and climate change is influenced by work being done in Africa and influenced by African researchers, where African governments and the international academic community listen to African researchers.

“ARUA’s partnership with UKRI is an important stepping stone to realising this vision,” Aryeetey added.

African News Agency

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