Cape Coast,November, 2016 – University of Cape Coast was selected by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program(CADFP) to host an African Diaspora scholar from the United States to work on a collaborative project on “curriculum development, research and graduate student mentoring and supervision in data science”.
Dr. Kossi Delali Edoh, a Fellow from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, United States of America will lead the project, together with Elliot Kojo Attipoe, a lecturer at the Computer Science and Information Technology Department, University of Cape Coast. The prestigious program is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Kenya provides strategic direction through Dr. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza and an Advisory Council he chairs.
Now in its fourth year, the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program has helped 239 African-born scholars who have been living and working in North America to connect with their peers at universities throughout Africa. The program is designed to build capacity at the host institutions in Africa, and to develop long-term, mutually-beneficial partnerships between the universities. The program selects projects that were proposed by the host universities and matches them with African-born scholars, covering the visiting scholars’ expenses, including transportation, a daily stipend, and the cost of obtaining visas and health insurance.
The main objective of the collaboration is to establish a leading data science training and research center at the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of Cape Coast. The world is increasingly becoming digital with the aggregation of huge amount of data and hence the need for finding new ways of extracting knowledge or insight from the data which is beneficial to society. There is a huge potential in the African region and the power of data science can be harnessed to address some social and economic needs. The proposed project is to help improve and develop the research capabilities of students (undergraduates and postgraduates) and researchers in the field of data science with a specific interest in the African or local content. The project also seeks to mentor and train postgraduate students to develop topics or concepts into research practices and eventually translate such research works into dissertations and publications.
It is expected that the research center will serve as a leading source of information in data science for the African region. It is the goal of the host department to position itself as a center of excellence with top class researchers and resources with the capability to collaborate with other institutions and industries. The host department also intends to maintain a long-term relationship with the visiting fellow and explore the possibilities of collaborating with the fellow’s home institution.
The University of Cape Coast project is one of 69projects that will pair 70North America-based African scholars with higher education institutions and collaborators on the continent to developcurricula, conduct research, teach graduate students, and train and mentor students and professors in the coming months. The projects span all disciplines from agro forestry to e-learning modules for nursing, and from ethnomusicology to military mental health.
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program Advisory Council is comprised of academic leaders from Africa and prominent African Diaspora academics.Launched by IIE three years ago, the program has resulted in many ongoing ties. In the project’s two-year pilot phase, which ended last December, 110 African-born academics working at 86 United States and seven Canadian institutions took part as Fellows. An impact study conducted by IIE shows that 96% of the 104 hosts at 66 African institutions have continued collaborating even after the formal fellowship ended.
According to Dr. Zeleza, Vice Chancellor of USIU-Africa, who chairs the program’s Advisory Council, “Diaspora knowledge networks that bring together academics across disciplines and help to facilitate scholarly collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, and networking opportunities are an important component of brain circulation. Diaspora academics constitute a critical facet of higher education internationalization. The connections fostered through them ultimately support capacity building and innovation in home and host countries. Unique in its organization, CADFP offers opportunities for truly collaborative, innovative and transformative engagements between African Diaspora academics in Canada and the United States and African higher education institutions in six countries.”
“The Carnegie Corporation of New York’s generous grant demonstrates a deep commitment to expanding human capital and furthering academic relationships between Africa and the U.S. and Canada,” said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education. “IIE has a long history of managing global fellowships, and we have been particularly impressed with the opportunities these fellowships have provided to address challenges and build connections across higher education in Africa.”
Call for Project Requests and Scholar Applications
Potential host collaborators in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda are encouraged to submit a project request for visiting fellows via the online portal between now and December 8, 2016.Prospective hosts and fellows can work together to develop specific projects. The Advisory Council encourages projects that involve collaboration between multiple institutions and cohorts of faculty members addressing related topics.
In the Fall 2016 selection cycle, preferred activities are collaborative research and graduate student teaching/mentoring, though curriculum co-development projects may also be funded. Other preferred project types include projects that involve multiple institutions, cohorts of several scholars collaborating on projects together, and interdisciplinary, thematically structured projects.
Please direct all questions related to the application process to AfricanDiaspora@iie.org.
About the Hosts and Fellows
Public and private higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda were invited to submit a project request to host a scholar for 14 to 90 days. Prospective hosts could, but were not required to, name a proposed scholar in a project request. The proposed scholar and project request were each evaluated by a review committee and were subject to approval by the Advisory Council. Many African institutions and prospective Fellows collaborated on ideas for a project that were submitted by the institutions. IIE also maintains a scholar roster to facilitate matches, according to the discipline specializations, expertise, activities and objectives described in a project request. Scholars born in Africa who live in the United States or Canada and work at an accredited college or university in either of those two countries applied to be on the roster of available candidates. Candidates were required to have a terminal degree in their field and can hold any academic rank. For Fellows matched with a selected project, the fellowship includes a daily stipend, transportation and visa funds and health insurance coverage.
About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. Our international approach to education—diverse, borderless, impactful—is a proven way for governments and companies to invest in global talent and solidify overseas relationships. We work with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE designs and implements over 250 programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions.
About United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa)
United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) was founded in 1969 as the Africa campus of United States International University in San Diego, California. Today, the University operates as an independent, not-for-profit institution serving over 6000 students representing 73 nationalities. It offers 24 degree programs from undergraduate to doctoral level, all of which are accredited in Kenya and the United States of America with the Commission for University Education and Senior Colleges and Universities Commission, WASC respectively.
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge and the strength of our democracy.