AJ-CORE Researchers' Workshop, 16-18 April 2024, Maun Botswana

AJ-CORE Researchers’ Workshop, 16-18 April 2024, Maun Botswana

Botswana’s Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology (MCKT), in partnership with the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), hosted the third Researchers’ Workshop under the Africa-Japan Collaborative Research (AJ-CORE) Programme. This third workshop brought together all thirteen jointly funded research projects under AJ-CORE. Four of these thirteen projects, funded for three years under the first Call, concluded their research activities at the end of 2023. The funders for these first four projects were NRF South Africa, JST Japan, MESRI Senegal, and FONRID Burkina Faso. A second Call for Proposals was launched in 2021 and supported four more projects (2022 to 2024) which are jointly funded by NRF South Africa, JST Japan, and MCKT Botswana. The third Call currently supports five joint projects (2024 – 2026), jointly funded by NRF South Africa, JST Japan, MCKT Botswana, and NRF Kenya.

The aim of the workshop was to reflect and share research experiences on what has worked well, what has not worked, methods, findings, and other insights from projects at individual, institutional, national, regional, and global level. The overall outcome included learning and knowledge exchange among participants through interactive discussions; demonstration of the impact of international collaboration; and identification and development of pathways to enhance relationships amongst researchers.

The workshop was officially opened by the esteemed MCKT Permanent Secretary, Mr Pontsho Pusoetsile and Kgosi Tawana Moremi. Through Dr Prudence Makhura, the NRF, as the AJ-CORE Call Secretariat, led discussions on the significance of AJ-CORE for Africa and framed its long-term vision. The NRF also conducted interview blitzes which focused on three cross-cutting themes, i.e. environmental science research, trans-disciplinary research, and the scalability and sustainability of research. These interview blitzes, conducted by Nombuso Madonda from the NRF, assisted funders to broaden the scope for the AJ-CORE long-term partnership framework. Further to this, the NRF held a training session on open science and open access using repositories such as the AfricArXiv to disseminate and archive research outputs. This training was facilitated by Dr Nokuthula Mchunu, Deputy Director of the African Open Science Platform (AOSP). Working together with the researchers and other AJ-CORE funders, the NRF launched the very first AJ-CORE booklet. This, booklet, coordinated by Valencia Mashiloane from the NRF, collates the achievements and impact stories of AJ-CORE funded projects.

Find below a QR code for the AJ-CORE booklet.


For more information on AJ-CORE,

please contact Nombuso Madonda at NP.Madonda@risa.nrf.ac.za.

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