Africa Climate Change Fund launches first call for proposals

 CCGrants of US$ 250,000 or more for climate finance readiness activities in African countries

The new Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF), housed in the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB), is launching its first call for grant proposals.

African governments, NGOs, research and regional institutions are invited to apply by following the instructions and the structure of the attached form called “ACCF_funding request” and by filling the attached logframe, and submitting their proposals to before midnight CET on August 8th, 2014. Grants will start from US$ 250,000 and will be dedicated to climate finance readiness projects, programmes or activities.

The first call for proposals objectives are, on the one hand, to enhance the capacity of African countries to improve their national institutional governance for direct and international access to climate finance, and on the other hand, to develop transformational policies, programs and projects for climate resilience and low carbon growth, in alignment with UNFCCC decisions.

As such, examples of activities to be supported include (although this list is not exhaustive):

  • Support for national climate finance institutions in relation to the Green Climate Fund (GCF)  implementation, such as National Designated Authorities (NDA) and implementing entities like national development banks and other financial intermediaries;
  • Collating and reviewing existing country plans and strategies to prioritize transformational opportunities, and to identify thematic and geographic programmatic options;
  • Technical assistance in the implementation of National Adaptation Planning (NAP) processes, including through the support for projects consistent with NAP priorities;
  • Economic and technical evaluation of options for infrastructure development (in individual sectors, or across sectors) in as many climate scenarios as possible;
  • Preparation of programs and projects that promote low carbon development in sectors such as power, transport, forestry, and agriculture;
  • Technical assistance for the preparation of programs and projects that enhance the resilience of the current climatic variability and change in vulnerable areas and sectors (agriculture, water resource management, transport, urban development, etc.);
  • Development of frameworks to raise finance for climate action (e.g. investment plans to leverage climate finance, especially from the private sector);
  • Sharing knowledge and experiences through regional meetings and south-south dialogue, in cooperation with institutions and mechanisms under the UNFCCC, such as the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) or the Nairobi Work Programme.

ACCF grants can be used to fund the following type of activities: the recruitment of national and international consultants; trainings; consultation workshops; regional and international meetings; communication, advocacy and translation services; the provision of technical assistance in the preparation of studies and analytical pieces; and office equipment and transportation fees (these costs are eligible only if a direct beneficiary executes the grant after approval by the Bank).

Established in April 2014 by the AfDB, the ACCF was created with an initial contribution of €4.725 million from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The fund’s objective is to scale up climate smart development in African countries by increasing the mobilization of international climate finance.

Interested eligible beneficiaries are invited to get in touch with the AfDB field office in their country or with the ACCF Secretariat for more information:

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Announcement: Masters Research fellowship available from IITA

IITAThe International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) with several national and international partners are implementing a development into research project, “N2Africa- Putting Nitrogen to work for smallholder farmers in Africa” in eleven African countries including Uganda. The project seeks to build sustainable partnerships and expertise in nitrogen fixation to improve soil fertility, increase productivity, food security, nutrition and income through improved grain legumes for smallholder farmers. In Uganda the project is implemented in northern, eastern and southwestern Uganda.
Women are integral and critical players in the grain legume value chains in these regions. However due to gender dynamics at community and household level, women receive limited support and hence limited benefits from their efforts in these value chains. This also translates to poor household diets and poverty amongst most of rural women farmers. It is from this standpoint that the N2Africa project wishes to engage a graduate student to conduct an in depth study to unravel the gender issues and dynamics in the grain legume value chains for groundnut, climbing bean and soyabean in the project areas in northern, eastern and southwestern Uganda, and to identify opportunities for establishing women-led businesses along the grain value chain. Click here to download the full call.

Closing date for application
Applications should be sent to;, copy to
by 5:00 PM, 1st May 2015.

Announcement: New Stellenbosch University Rector & Vice-Chancellor

Prof Wim de Villiers appointed new Maties Rector

Prof Wim de Villiers appointed new Maties Rector

Prof Wim de Villiers, Dean of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences, was appointed the new Maties Rector and Vice-Chancellor by the Stellenbosch University (SU) Council earlier today.

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De Villiers (55), a Matie alumnus and medical doctor who studied and worked in England and America for 21 years, succeeds Prof Russel Botman, who passed away unexpectedly in June. He becomes the University’s 12th rector (although the title of this post has changed a number of times through the years). He will take office in 2015, but the exact date is not known yet [1 April has since been confirmed]. In the meantime, Chief Operating Officer Prof Leopoldt Van Huyssteen will stay on as acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

“I feel honoured and am very thankful for this opportunity,” De Villiers said about his appointment. “Stellenbosch is a jewel in the crown of higher education in South Africa, and with the right leadership and good teamwork we can reach new heights, both locally and internationally.”

Mr George Steyn, Chairperson of the SU Council, said De Villiers’s appointment heralds a new era for the University. “We are looking forward to Prof De Villiers breaking new ground – also in the run-up to our centenary in 2018. Not only is he an excellent academic and manager, but he has the necessary insight and vision to be a worthy successor to Prof Botman.”

De Villiers was “born and bred in Stellenbosch”, the youngest child of the late Prof AB de Villiers, who would later become Dean of Law at SU, and Mrs Gera de Villiers (née Klomp) of Kroonstad. He matriculated from Paul Roos Gymnasium in 1977 with top marks in the then Cape Province, and passed his MBChB at SU cum laude. He received the Francie Van Zijl and Chancellor’s medals for academic achievement.

He decided to “spread his wings” and obtained a DPhil in Immunology at Oxford University, England, in 1995. He then went to America to gain more experience – at the University of Kentucky Medical Centre in Lexington. He later also obtained a master’s degree in health-care management from Harvard University.

“I thought I would stay for 18 months, but it turned out to be 18 years! It was worthwhile, though.”

In the USA De Villiers practised as a gastroenterologist and also established himself as a respected researcher in this field. He was included in the publication Best Doctors in America, and held a number of senior positions at the University of Kentucky, including Head of Gastroenterology, and Administrative Head in the UK HealthCare organisation with an annual budget of more than $1,2 billion.

“Then the pull of the fatherland became too strong to resist,” and he accepted the dean’s post in Cape Town in July 2013. Now he is looking forward to the next chapter in his career. Read more