Building the Capacity of the Next Generation of Scientists for Africa: RUFORUM’s Hand into the Future

Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics

University of Nairobi

Above: Sarah A.O. Wa-Mwenje

Above: Sarah A.O. Wa-Mwenje

RUFORUM has had a history of lifting many scientists from a position of great need into one of hope. It is as though the future suddenly stretches before you and you feel capacitated to dream and take that next bold step forward. This is what exactly describes the feeling that we now have upon receiving the RUFORUM Graduate Research Grant (GRG) award to undertake our Masters studies at the University of Nairobi.

A hand is symbolic of capacity; symbolic of ability and an inherent willingness and drive to provide leadership. To us, RUFORUM not only has both innate qualities but also conferred the same opportunities allowing us to dare believe and move to greater heights in our careers and look forward to contributing to Africa’s development agenda as the scientists trained in Africa for Africa. The focus to strengthen our capacity in scientific research and development is interwoven within our scientific endeavour to become change agents through scientific research and innovation. RUFORUM grant was thus the “go forward” needed stimulus to escalate our productive and innovative potential. We are now studying bioinformatics in one of Africa’s leading institutions under the supervision of brilliant lead scientists who are passionate about their roles; their mentorship is admirable and have woven in us to become the scientists now and for the future.

Above: Inertia Ibrahim Wangwe

Above: Inertia Ibrahim Wangwe

The scholarship gives much needed financial relief as Post graduate studies often come with greater financial implications on person and family. We feel honoured to be recipients of this study grant as RUFORUM family of alumni. This RUFORUM grant is indeed “a hand into our future” and the future of Africa’s efforts to escalate the training of scientists within and for Africa. The grant has metaphorically gone ahead of us and formed a new future reality; different from the one we had envisioned. We now have a renewed sense of courage as we pursue a greater scientific career. The new skills currently being gained will create a range of opportunities for us and others in the continent. It is our resolve that immediately after finalising with our Masters studies, we will pursue doctorates within relevant and emerging fields of relevance to Africa’s development agenda. We are grateful to RUFORUM and our mentors.

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