Yesterday was the first day of the RCUK/GCRH Global Engagement Meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi yesterday.
The aim of the Global Engangement Meetings is to showcase the opportunities available through Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), to bring together developing country and UK researchers and to discuss opportunities for maximising the contribution of GCRF research into policy and practice.
The Global Challenges Initiative is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
After a long day, Ms Kitchens hosted a networking event for a delegation of 15 researchers from the UK and Africa who are in Kenya to attend the meeting.
Speaking at the networking event Ms Kitchens said:
“The UK’s investment in research in Africa is a recognition of the critical role science plays in tackling the enormous global challenges we face in the 21st century – new technologies and rigorous evidence about what works can improve the lives of the poorest and create new opportunities.
“Research, science and innovation are central to modern economic development and the UK’s investment in this sector will strengthen the bilateral economic relationship and long term prosperity of both countries.”
The Global Challenges Research fund is a key component of the UK government strategy to tackle global challenges. The UK has invested £4.6 billion to ensure that research takes a leading role in addressing problems faced by developing countries over the next 5 years.
— Temilolaoluseyi (@temilolaoluseyi) January 31, 2018
The UK’s investment in GCRF builds on successes of existing funds like the Newton Fund which has already galvanised academic partnerships in 18 countries.
During the day, the Deputy High Commissioner also had the opportunity to catch up with SwahiliBox which focuses on socio-economic technology empowerment, inspiring and developing individuals and help them develop new and innovative ideas through networking, access to training and support and professional mentoring and coaching.
— Damilola Agbalajobi (@DamilolaAgbalaj) January 31, 2018
Tweeting after the reception, Ms Kitchens said: “Brain-stretching conversation this evening covering microbiology, gender and violence, water management, pastoral livelihoods and food science – with researchers from Kenya, UK and beyond, and the brilliant Sir Mike Aaronson.”
Sir Mike had previously Tweeted that he was excited to be in Nairobi for the GCRF Kenya Global Engagement meeting and being able to “make new connections across disciplines and geographies, between research, policy, and practice.”
“Excellent research, problem and solution focused, generating real impact, building capacity and partnerships,” he added.
Fantastic & inspiring conversation with @ILRI boss, Jimmy Smith, about pastoralism & livestock in #kenya at #gcrfkenya Challenged all my assumptions & biases. Thank you @SusieKitchens for hosting @UKinKenya
— Pete Vowles 🇰🇪🇬🇧 (@PeteVowles) January 31, 2018
The Global Engagement Meeting continues today before finishing on Friday.