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The African diaspora fellowship initiative, brainchild of Malawi-born diaspora academic Dr Paul Zeleza, is building a platform from which to launch a ‘10-10’ initiative that will sponsor 1,000 diaspora scholars a year for 10 years to visit African universities for collaboration. Now Zeleza himself has left a top academic job in America to head up a University in Kenya.

Launched in 2013, the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, or CADF, programme over two years enabled 110 fellows – Africa-born academics working in North America – to return for short-term educational projects proposed and hosted by universities in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

In its second, bigger phase the initiative will support around 140 fellowships and will be used as a base from which to expand the initiative globally, said CADF programme founder and chair Zeleza, who was formerly Vice-president at America’s Quinnipiac University and is now Vice-chancellor of the United States International University – Africa or USIU in Nairobi.

“Administered by the New York-based Institute of International Education or IIE, the academic diaspora project is being picked up as a model”, Zeleza said.

This month the IIE announced that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation had awarded a US$1.25 million grant to launch the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program. Over two years, 40 Greek-born academics working in the United States and Canada will receive fellowships to visit Greek universities for collaborative academic engagements.

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