Rhodes and UP to co-host the NRF’s Future Earth Africa Hub Leadership Centre

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Future Earth Africa Hub Leadership Centre Launch at the SRI Africa Satellite Event
Future Earth Africa Hub Leadership Centre Launch at the SRI Africa Satellite Event

Rhodes University in collaboration with the University of Pretoria will host the Future Earth Africa Hub Leadership Centre from 2023 to 2026. This will be the first hub for the continent and one of a few in the world under Future Earth, a global initiative focused on advancing sustainability science. Future Earth’s vision is of a sustainable and equitable world for all, where societal decisions are informed by openly- accessible and shared knowledge. And its mission is to advance research in support of transformations to global sustainability. The Africa Hub Leadership Centre will contribute to this global mission by growing, strengthening and coordinating Africa’s voice at a global level through the region’s collaborative networks, innovative ideas and active participation of science stakeholders.

 The project to host the centre was awarded jointly to Rhodes University and the University of Pretoria in 2023 following an open-call from the National Research Foundation in 2022. The successful response to the call came from the collaborative efforts of the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), the Institute for Water Research (IWR) and the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER). In its initial phase of three years, the centre’s leadership will be housed in the ISER, with other supporting staffed based at the Future Africa campus at the University of Pretoria.

The hub was launched formally on the 20th June 2023 by the NRF at the first annual Sustainable Research Innovation (SRI) 2023 Africa satellite conference, which held at Nelson Mandela University (NMU). At the conference Nhlanhla Mbatha (ISER), Heila Lotz-Sisitka (ELRC) and Nelson Odume (IWR) presented the vision, structure and the planed activities for the hub in this founding phase. We are excited to share the news with the Rhodes University community and we look forward to further engagements with you all as we roll-out the hub’s work programmes, including the current process to identify and appoint the Director and other supporting staff.