Last 23 May, I was invited as one of the speakers at the panel discussion on ‘Jobs for women and young people’ which was co-hosted by INCLUDE at the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Lusaka, Zambia. The panel was composed of high-powered women in the African research and development arena that includes Ms Yana Watson Kakar (Global Managing Parner, Dalberg), Ms Ada Osakwe (CEO, Agrolay Ventures), Ms Jacqueline Novogratz (CEO, Acumen), and Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg (Director General, Africa Women in Agriculture and Research and Development, AWARD). I spoke on how the boundless opportunities in agricultural value chains and the existence of untapped resources, such as the youth, can provide the much needed impetus to drive the next wave of development in Africa. I also stressed the importance of having an enabling environment that will ensure that agriculture creates the business opportunities and decent employment along the various value chains for the millions of unemployed youth in Africa.
What is needed at this stage is to change the mindset of young men and women towards agriculture and make it a more attractive profession. For many young people in Africa, agriculture represents an unprofitable sector that requires a lot of hard, back-breaking work. Agriculture needs the energy and skills of the youth to add value to the sector and turn it into a vibrant, successful, and fully commercial enterprise. Our IITA Youth Agripreneurs, for example, have shown how a change in perception towards agriculture could make a graduate of history the best maize grower in northern Nigeria, and another graduate of communication and media studies one of the most lucrative catfish farmers in Ibadan, Nigeria. Matched with opportunity, I believe that this mindset change will help transform agriculture and result in productivity growth and job creation. Capacity development in agricultural techniques and business enterprise is another requirement for successful job creation in agribusiness. Training and skills development will ensure the integration of young women and men in agriculture, who could be trained on modern farming, agricultural-based entrepreneurship, and marketing. Through ENABLE Youth, the new program supported by the African Development Bank, incubation centers will be created for youths to learn and exchange practical ideas and will help nurture youth-led start-ups. Using the youth-to-youth approach in experiential learning will help ensure participation during the incubation period.
Also, networking among the youths is needed to establish a network for knowledge management. Under the ENABLE-Nigeria Program, this network will be formalized and expanded, and will focus upon mechanisms used by youth, such as internet sites and social media, to rapidly exchange and adapt needed information resources. Institutional and financial support from both the private and public sectors will also help maximize opportunities for young people, strengthen their capacities, and facilitate their access to productive resources needed to drive broad-based growth to enhance agricultural productivity. Support can be in the form of loans, grants, mentoring; advocacy through awareness creation; and an enabling policy environment for the agribusiness enterprise to thrive. Technical backstopping, monitoring, and evaluation to keep track of the challenges, progress, and successes made during the incubation will help provide insights into the challenges of running agribusiness enterprises.
I enjoin all stakeholders – governments, international and national organizations, the private sector, civil society, social groups, and parents – to help ensure the success of job creation in agribusiness through our youths.
On 24 May, IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga was at the new Southern Africa Research and Administration Hub (SARAH) campus at Kabangwe, Lusaka Province, Zambia, touring the facility and interacting with staff based there. The visit to the campus coincided with the attendance of the DG to the 2016 African Development Bank (AfDB) annual conference held in Lusaka on 23-27 May, during which he also delivered a presentation about the IITA-led TAAT program and the African youth-in-agriculture initiative.
The DG’s visit came on the heels of similar visits by the DDG for Research-for-Development, Ylva Hillbur, the previous week and by the DDG for Corporate Services, Kwame Akuffo-Akoto, two weeks ago.
The DG was welcomed to SARAH by David Chikoye, IITA Director for Southern Africa. Along with other scientists and staff, Chikoye showed DG Sanginga around the campus, briefing him about the various on-campus research and administration facilities. The DG also met some members of the Zambia IITA Youth Agripreneurs, who were on site for a training activity.
“Congratulations on your new ‘home’,” DG Sanginga told staff. “This new facility is a testament to our commitment to our
R4D work in this country and in this region. Basically, we are saying that IITA is here to stay for the long term,” added the DG.
“I remember when I first visited Zambia as IITA DG and donors were asking me where our research facilities were as they were looking for proof that we are not some fly-by-night entity. I promised them that we will be investing and building our facilities here. Although it took some time, that promise is now a reality,” DG Sanginga recounted.
“As the first step [of building this campus] has been taken, we now need to look forward to increasing and improving the facilities and services that we offer,” Sanginga added. He enumerated, among other things, the addition of laboratories, a youth training center, and Business Incubation Platform (BIP) units as priority plans for SARAH.
“I have also received inquiries from other CGIAR centers operating in Zambia about the possibility of having their offices hosted here [at SARAH],” DG Sanginga revealed. “I am confident that this will happen, just like in Ibadan, but we do have to build this campus up first to its full potential as a state-of-the-art agricultural research campus as contained in the SARAH Master Plan. We will achieve this,” he assured everyone.
At the meeting with IITA-Zambia staff, the DG also hinted at plans for his second term as IITA chief if the Board of Trustees approves.
“When I first started as IITA DG, the Institute’s budget was about US$40+ million. Today, it is almost triple that amount. We have also almost doubled the number of our scientists and support staff. These are despite the numerous budget cuts from the CGIAR and shifting donor priorities, which normally would have resulted in the reverse.”
“If I continue on as DG, I would have to raise the bar even higher―doubling IITA funding and staffing from what we already have today, and continuing to improve and add more infrastructure across the regions to support our R4D work in Africa,” he stressed.
“To this end, I ask for your cooperation and help in making sure that we, as an institute, continue with our successes,” he concluded.
The Institute has announced a new organizational structure aimed at addressing longstanding operational deficiencies and providing a broader range of support within IITA and across projects.
The changes were announced by Director General Nteranya Sanginga as part of several decisions reached at the recently concluded meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT) in Kalambo, DR Congo on 11-14 May.
The BOT approved a revised budget of US$ 143 million up from US$ 138 million and reaffirmed that instead of the IITA annual R4D week, the focal point this year will be on Partnerships for Delivery (P4D) with a strong emphasis on the massive opportunities and accomplishments of the Business Incubation Platform (BIP) and youth programs. The Institute will also press on with ongoing preparations for marking its 50th anniversary.
Also approved was the Institute’s Code of Conduct which provides guidelines to staff and all associates on standards of professional conduct and ethical choices to be made in the performance of duties and in the course of their relationship with IITA.
According to DG Sanginga, the CGIAR is transitioning and the modality for instituting a new system of government within the CG is now being set.
“Reports from Bruce Coulman, BOT Chair, on the CGIAR meeting in Rome show that the CGIAR is transitioning. There is a decision by donors and centers to establish a two tier system of governance; the Systems Council -consisting mainly of donors, and a System Management Board- consisting mostly of centers with a Systems Management Office run by an Executive Director responsible to the System Management Board for executing his/her functions. Under these new arrangements there will be only one CGIAR office to be located in Montpellier and considerably more interaction between the different entities of the system. All centers have been asked to nominate candidates for the System Management Board and IITA will follow with a nomination.”
The organizational reforms are a reflection of changes in the size, scope, and strategic thrust of the Institute and will help streamline decision making, foster greater integration and synergy across projects, strengthen relationships with partner organizations, and create a nimble and dynamic Institute better able to deliver its mandate.
As part of the restructuring, Hubs will be afforded a greater level of autonomy becoming in essence, self-governing and self-accounting entities with Directors having full responsibility for staffing decisions. This would give them the flexibility required to effectively carry out their functions.
To ensure a greater alignment with priorities and objectives of partner organizations to achieve shared goals, a Director for Systems and Site Integration will be appointed with the responsibility of facilitating collaboration with partners and ensuring that all IITA projects share a common thread that enables them to function as a coordinated whole.
Further changes include the merger of the Project Development Office and Project Administration Office into a unit within the Research Support Directorate. The Directorate will have oversight functions over a number of units and will work to enhance the visibility of the Institute, provide institutional support through data and information management as well as ensure improved project administration, monitoring and evaluation. Furthermore, the Institute will also recruit two new Financial Controllers to oversee operations in the Finance Directorate. This would enable the Finance Director to focus on strategy and long-term financial planning and work on establishing a self-regulating independent financial framework for the Hubs and Stations.
The Institute has placed renewed emphasis on strengthening relationships with donor organizations and agencies to enable improved delivery of agricultural technological solutions with market potential. To this end, the Partnerships and Capacity Development Directorate will be renamed Partnerships for Delivery (P4D) to better reflect this evolution in strategy. The Directorate will house the entrepreneurial and capacity development units of the Institute such as the Business Incubation Platform (BIP), Youth in Agribusiness, Capacity Development, Delivery and Development, and the newly instituted Mechanization initiative aimed at managing IITA’s mechanization programs and increasing the level of mechanization in agricultural operations in Africa.
In addition, a Clearinghouse will be established primarily for coordination of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) and ENABLE youth programs of the African Development Bank as well as other World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) development programs involving broad partnerships and spanning a large number of countries.
The Clearinghouse will be led by a DDG and will be headed by Kwame Akuffo-Akoto who leaves his position as Deputy Director General Corporate Services (DDG CS). The newly vacant DDG CS position will be advertised in due course and together with the Head of the Clearinghouse will be tasked with overseeing the proposed reforms.
These structural reforms will be implemented in a phased manner from June 2016 and is expected to cost around US$0.5 million.
While it is the number one cash crop for most farmers in Tanzania, maize is getting a serious run for its money from legumes such as beans, groundnut, and soybean which are becoming commercial crops in the cool and hilly terrain of the Southern Highlands. In addition, legumes are also good for tackling malnutrition and soil infertility as they are a cheap source of protein and are able to fix nitrogen from the air into the soils.
This turn of events is being fueled firstly by many years of collaboration between farmers and Tanzanian and international research institutions, a range of development partners, and the private sector that has seen the development and dissemination of improved varieties and good agronomic practices enabling farmers to increase their legume yield by up to four times.
And secondly, a ready market within and in the neighboring countries of Zambia, DR Congo, Malawi, and as far down as South Africa.
On a recent visit to the region, we met a number of farmers whose fortunes have greatly changed and their livelihoods improved as a result of growing legumes.
Daudi Bukuku – from borrowing soap to a respectable bean expert
Daudi Bukuku, a charming 38-year-old farmer has seen his life turnaround from at one time not being able to afford to buy soap for his family to being able to purchase and install a biogas plant at his home reducing the drudgery and time spent by his wife looking for firewood. All thanks to beans.
“Before starting this improved farming of beans, I used to harvest 200 kg of beans from an acre. Life was hard and I was struggling to even buy soap for my family. However, everything changed when I was invited for a training at ARI Uyole on improved farming methods for beans and also received new, improved varieties to try,” Daudi says.
“I learned proper spacing, proper use of fertilizers, and how to harvest and store my crop. I applied everything I had learned and now my yield is up to 700 to 800 kg per acre. My life is so much better as you can see. I have even managed to buy livestock. I have cows, pigs, and chickens. I have also been able to install a biogas plant that converts the waste from my livestock into gas for cooking. I am no longer destroying the environment for firewood. And my wife now respects me as I have made her life easy. She is not struggling with cooking. In twenty minutes, all the food is ready,” he said.
Daudi’s farm acts as a demonstration site to transfer the technologies and knowledge he has gained from the researchers to the surrounding farmers who are inspired with what they see and by the changes he has made in his life. He has also been trained in the production of Quality Declared Seeds and therefore sells seeds of various local and improved varieties to surrounding farmers.
Empowering women and improving marriages
Upendo women’s group in Mchewe village in Mbeya rural district has also seen beans change their lives and their marriages for the better.
According to the chair of the group, Witness Sikayange, the women came together in 2010 to find ways to work together to improve their lives and those of their families through farming.
“We realized we can earn more money from beans compared to maize as we can harvest up to three times a year compared to once a year for maize. We then approached researchers and government extension workers for training on improved farming methods and for improved varieties. And after that, we started commercial farming of beans.
“We are now living a very comfortable life. We all have improved houses and are taking our children to school. And our marriages are even better. Before we used to have a lot of quarrels with our husbands but since we started making our own money, they now respect us as we are not just sitting begging for everything,” Witness said.
The group is also growing Quality Declared Seeds (QDS) for the various varieties of bean released from Uyole Agricultural Research Institute to sell to surrounding farmers and processing pre-cooked beans for sale.
Spreading the success
There are a number of ongoing research initiatives to build on to these successes to spread the benefits of legumes to more farmers: .
Building capacity of research institutes to develop new legume varieties: Efforts to provide farmers with better varieties are also continuing through the Tropical Legumes III (TLIII) project funded by the Gates Foundation and led by ICRISAT.
According to Emmanuel Monyo, the coordinator for this project, TLIII is seeking to improve the breeding capacity of national agricultural research systems and of three CG centers―CIAT, IITA, and ICRISAT to provide farmers with improved high yielding legume varieties to improve the production and productivity of the crops in Sub-Saharan Africa And Asia. Its target is to improve the livelihoods and nutritional status of smallholder farmers through increased legume production.
N2africa – adding soybean to the mix: The ‘Putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers in Africa,’ project, in short N2Africa, led by Wageningen University in the Netherlands is promoting the production of soybean in the area and introducing the use of seed innoculants and improved farming methods such as higher density planting and use of appropriate fertilizers both organic, inorganic and bio-fertilizers.
According to Fred Baijukya, an agronomist at IITA’s Eastern Africa hub and N2Africa Country Coordinator for Tanzania, the project is currently conducting trials of new improved soybean varieties together with ARI-Uyole and lead farmers to identify the best-performing ones as well as have farmers preferred traits to recommend for release.
The project is also conducting agronomic trials looking into the best agronomic practices that will ensure the farmers get the highest returns including time of planting, spacing and use of fertilizers.
Dissemination of technologies: One challenge that faces research organizations is the wide-scale dissemination and scaling out of new technologies to reach many farmers. Two NGOs―One Acre Fund and Farm Inputs Promotion (FIPs)―are assisting in these efforts. FIPs is providing farmer with small packs of different inputs including seeds for improved varieties and fertilizers. For testing and adoption of those they like and also providing advice on good agronomic practices. FIPS also links farmers to the agro-dealers and private sector companies to ensure supply of the inputs.
One Acre Fund on the other hand is providing loans to farmers to purchase seeds and other inputs such as fertilizers for their farms and training them on better farming practices.
The two development partners are now keen to work with the research teams to help in the dissemination of new legume varieties released from research institutes as well as inputs such as rhizobium and legume fertilizers.
These successful cases show the clear link between research and development, says Jean Claude Rubyongo, a seed system specialist from CIAT and who is also one of the researchers who has been conducting research on bean in the country for many years parenting with ARI-Uyole.
If the successes achieved by Daudi and Upendo can be replicated throughout the region, then clearly the region will transform itself and make a big dent in the efforts to support the country to industrialize and reduce poverty and malnutrition.
In an historic milestone, Director General Nteranya Sanginga on 9 March, made a presentation before the joint sitting of the Senate Committee and House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, House of Assembly, Abuja. For the first time in its almost 50 years of existence, IITA was invited by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to speak about IITA and its work. The DG’s presentation was titled “Repositioning IITA for impact in Nigeria.” The purpose of the visit was to interact with the lawmakers for better collaboration between the Institute and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Chair, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, in his remarks, said “This government can only succeed if research is there. Research is fundamental to our success… IITA is all about research.” Sen Adamu was reacting to the DG’s presentation, which made a case for agriculture as a strategic driver of development in Nigeria.
In his concluding statement, Sen Adamu raised a wake-up call: “We must go back to agriculture! IITA is an institute that can greatly impact our efforts to improve the agricultural sector…” The senator had visited IITA for the first time in 2012 during a workshop organized with IITA Goodwill Ambassador, former President Olasegun Obasanjo.
The IITA contingent consisted of DG Sanginga, Deputy Director General Kenton Dashiell, Alfred Dixon (Partnerships Coordination Office), Gbassey Tarawali (Outreach Coordinator, Abuja Station), Toyin Oke (RMPEL), Ayo Omopaola (IT Officer, Abuja), Bode Olaoluwa (Communication Office), Thereza Agada Ene (IYA), and Abe Baggi Zaccheaus Isuw.
IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga has just concluded a two-day visit to IITA’s Eastern Africa’s office in Tanzania where he met the Institute’s staff and shared his priority areas of focus for his second term as the head of the Institute.
He said he had identified three areas that he was passionate about which had grown in leaps and bounds in his first five-year tenure which ends in a few months.
These are strengthening IITA’s internal corporate services which are crucial to supporting and delivery of the science, the Feed Africa initiative with the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), and building on the success of the youth Agripreneurs program whose objective is to create jobs and income for young people in Africa through agribusiness.
“I have been thinking seriously about this in the last six months: What will I focus on in the next five years if I seek another term as DG? From my experience, a second term is usually very tricky and I wanted to make sure I have new ambitions that will take me out of bed excitedly every morning,” Sanginga said while addressing the staff at the hub.
“We are doing very well in our science; and we have great partnerships from the grassroots all the way to the top level. We have built donor confidence and our business incubation platform is up and running processing aflasafe and NoduMax and we are thinking of adding aeroponics and tissue culture. We now need to strengthen our internal corporate services – finance, HR, and IT. So my second term will focus more inwards to ensure more efficient services.
Feed Africa is a major initiative of the AfDB to transform agriculture in Africa and with it, the Bank was keen to work with CGIAR centers with IITA playing a key role, Sanginga said. “In this regard, we are having a major summit at Headquarters bringing together all the CGIAR centers working in Africa and major donors to kick off the initiative and discuss its implementation.”
He noted that the Agripreneurs program that IITA, under his leadership, started three years ago was already well established in five countries – DRC, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda – and getting a lot of support. For example, in Nigeria, the government was providing support to replicate the program across the country to more states. The AfDB supports the initiative and is keen to take it across the continent. Recently the University of Michigan had expressed interest to work with the group and conduct research on changing the mindset of the youth towards agriculture.
Sanginga also spent time talking to and mentoring the youth in Tanzania as well as visiting their processing center that had been constructed with support from the AfDB. He reminded them that agriculture is one of the sectors that had real potential to create employment and that IITA scientists and researchers were ready to share knowledge and the technologies they are developing.
“Believe in yourselves. Through agriculture and this initiative you can create your own jobs and even employ others.”
He also told the youth that IITA will be counting on them to encourage other youth to go into agribusiness. “We are receiving a lot of support from policy makers in different countries wanting to adopt the program. The AfDB is also keen to start investing in youth in agribusiness across 23 countries in Africa using the IITA model. So we will be counting on some of you to help in this initiative to help change the youth’s mindsets in agriculture in many countries.”
Sanginga was in the hub as part of efforts to keep the staff in the region updated with the latest developments and future plans and keep abreast of what is happening at the hub. He was well received by the team at the hub led by the Director for Eastern Africa, Victor Manyong.
The 2nd International Whitefly Symposium (IWS2) is taking place in Arusha, Tanzania, this week, 14-19 February. It has brought together more than a hundred scientists from all over the world to discuss one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests, the whitefly.
In sub-Saharan Africa, whiteflies are a key threat to food security and efforts to reduce poverty in rural areas as they destroy and spread diseases in important crops of smallholder farmers such as vegetables, beans, cassava, cotton, and sweet potato. The whitefly is the driving force behind the twin cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) pandemics that are currently ravaging cassava production in sub-Saharan Africa.
However, research on whitefly in the continent is inadequate. Apart from a lack of adequate funding, there are very few vector entomologists that could adequately manage the whitefly and associated problems. Therefore scientists from Africa and in particular Tanzania had an opportunity to learn from their colleagues from other countries such as the US, China, Europe, and Australia on new and innovative strategies to control the pest.
According to the meeting chair, Peter Sseruwagi, from the Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute (MARI), it was important to bring the symposium to Africa as the continent is currently grappling with how to feed its ever-increasing population in
the face of the twin threats of shrinking agricultural land and climate change.
“This meeting brings together renowned whitefly researchers from over 24 countries, the private sector, and students to share and exchange the latest knowledge on the whitefly. They focused especially on CMD and CBSD, the two viral diseases spread by whiteflies and which have ravaged this key staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa,” Sseruwagi said.
The meeting’s co-chair, James Legg, from IITA, added that “Africa is currently struggling with a wave of new viral diseases that are limiting the productivity of the poor smallholder farmers, who are a majority of the population and are the main food producers. These farmers have limited resources to invest in inputs such as pesticides and herbicides. We need to find sustainable science-based solutions to support them in tackling these challenges.”
The symposium is co-organized by MARI and IITA with the University of Dar es Salaam, Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) of Uganda. It is supported by USAID, the USAID-funded Africa RISING initiative, and Zhejiang University, China.
The first International Whitefly Symposium took place in Crete, Greece, in 2013. The Symposium is a series of specialized scientific meetings created out of the merger of the International Bemisia Workshop (IBWS) and the European Whitefly Symposium (EWS).
The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) — Taking Agronomy to Scale in Cassava-Based Systems in sub-Saharan Africa, seeking to address this challenge and support smallholder farmers to increase production of cassava through developing good agronomic recommendations, recently launched its activities in Tanzania.
Speaking during the project launch at the beginning of this month, Bernard Vanlauwe, IITA’s Director for Central Africa and research leader of natural resource management, said there is a popular myth that cassava does not need fertilizers and can be grown on poor soils. However, if the crop’s production has to increase for food and industrial use, this perception has to change.
This was reiterated by guest of honor Hussein Mansoor, Director of Research and Development at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. He noted that much investment in cassava production had gone into development of improved high-yielding disease-resistant varieties and less on cassava agronomy, and thus the persistent high yield gap.
“With the need to intensify cassava production in areas where population densities have reduced access to land for agriculture and with cassava roots becoming an important raw material for the processing sector, the yield gap needs to be reduced. This requires investments in inputs and labor and access to fresh root markets or value-adding processing markets to ensure that farming households can generate the income required,” he said.
Lawrence Kent from the Gates Foundation said the Foundation was keen on the project due to the link between improved varieties and good agronomic practices.
“By developing improved varieties, we are only addressing half the problem. Low yields in farmers’ fields are a result of poor varieties and poor agronomic practices,” Kent said to the meeting participants via Skype. He also commended the project for its clear link between
research and uptake of the findings and between research and extension and demand-driven approach by working with partners in the cassava value chain to addressing their priorities and concerns.
ACAI seeks to improve cassava yields, cassava root quality, cassava supply to the processing sector, and fertilizer sales, and have over 100,000 households in Nigeria and Tanzania benefiting and creating a value of over US$27 million in the next five years. This value will result from increased yield of cassava and associated crops (due to intercropping), higher starch content, more continuous supply of the roots, and use of fertilizers among others. The project will also be implemented in Uganda and Ghana.
Partners in Tanzania include Cassava Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA), Farm Concern International (FCI), Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), and Minjingu Mines & Fertilizers Ltd.
Two statistics courses were organized for IITA staff and partners in DR Congo on 25 January to 5 February. The first―a refresher course on Statistical Analysis System (SAS), was organized for IITA-Kinshasa researchers. The training provided detailed hands-on exposure to the basic procedures for appropriate data analysis as well as the provision of SAS software for participants. The second course on Biostatistics was intended for grantees of the Projet de Recherche pour l’Innovation Agricole (PRIA). PRIA seeks to revitalize development-oriented agricultural research in the country.
About 18 grantees from the universities, Institut National pour l’Etude et la Recherche Agronomiques (INERA), and NGOs participated in the training courses which facilitated by IITA’s Biometricians Sam Ofodile and Sam Korie. In addition to the statistical courses, Ovegho Okome, IITA Project Administrative Officer, discussed the Institute’s financial reporting and accounting procedures.
The PRIA project is entirely funded by the DR Congo Government and managed by IITA, and covered by a memo of understanding signed in Kinshasa in June 2013. Since it started in December 2013, PRIA continues to provide competitive research grants to Congolese researchers
working with INERA, local universities, NGOs, and private organizations to
carry out innovative agricultural research in the food, livestock, and fish farming sectors. To date, about 44 of such research grants have been attributed to DR Congo researchers. These small grants were selected out of 300 applications.