Africa Oxford Initiative
Our aim is to facilitate equitable research collaborations between researchers based in African institutions and researchers based at the University of Oxford.
Research, education & innovation
AfOx is a cross-university platform based at the University of Oxford with the aim of facilitating equitable and sustainable collaborations between researchers based at the University of Oxford and African universities, as well as increasing the number of African students pursuing postgraduate degrees in Oxford.
Active members in the AfOx network
Institutions in Africa collaborate with AfOx members
African countries have collaborating AfOx members
Building networks for impactful collaborations
Since our establishment in 2016, we have facilitated over 250 new collaborations, between 70 departments within the University of Oxford and 120 African institutions, across 32 countries and built a network of over 3000 members. Our support has enabled a wide range of research advances in medical sciences, big data engineering, astrophysics, environmental conservation, the humanities and many other areas.
Providing opportunities for collaborative research
All our programmes are developed to enable researchers to co-design research and co-develop skills to tackle global challenges across all Sustainable Development Goals
The AfOx Visiting Fellowship Programme is designed to provide exceptional African researchers an opportunity to build international networks and focus on a project of their choice, away from teaching and administrative duties at their home institutions. Open to all research fields, the Fellowship supports researchers to spend up to 8 weeks at Oxford.
Initiated with the aim of supporting new collaborations between researchers based in African institutions and the University of Oxford, the AfOx Catalyst Grants are open to all disciplines, all year round. They allow researchers to work together on an emerging research area of mutual interest.
The Africa Oxford Health Innovation Platform (AfOx-HIP) is a multi-disciplinary programme to support African innovators develop new solutions to Africa’s health challenges. It does so by connecting research to industry to tackle prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment through impact investment and innovation. AfOx-HIP collaborative platform supported by key researchers in the University of Oxford and African institutions, and led by AfOx.
At AfOx, we are working with departments, colleges and scholarship committees across the University to maximise opportunities available to prospective African applicants, to support current African students at Oxford and support African alumni post their graduate degrees. We are taking a multi-pronged approach aimed at increasing the numbers of successful African applications, improving the uptake of offers by supporting scholarships access and providing on- course support to African graduates at Oxford.
Our insakas convene researchers, students, alumni, the wider University community and guests from around the world to share ideas and knowledge about Africa-focused research.
We also support high quality events at the University of Oxford and our partner institutions in African countries to highlight the latest Africa-related research.
Connect, Collaborate & Communicate
AfOx Highlights report Report
AfOx creates an ecosystem for African students, entrepreneurs and researchers to collaborate and flourish while addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges. AfOx students, researchers and innovators are improving livelihoods and safeguarding our future. They are uncovering hidden histories of our past and finding new sources to create energy for the future. They are solving real-world challenges and accelerating progress towards the sustainable development goals.
Prof Kevin Marsh, Co-Director
Kevin Marsh is co director of the Africa Oxford Initiative and professor of tropical medicine at the University of Oxford. He qualified in medicine at the University of Liverpool in 1978 and began his research career at the Medical Research Council Unit in the Gambia. From 1985-89 he was at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford and in 1989 established with colleagues a series of research projects on the clinical epidemiology and immunology of malaria at Kilifi on the Kenyan coast. These have subsequently developed into an international programme (the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme) involving around 800 staff working across a number of countries in east Africa of which he was director until August 2014. Kevin Marsh has a particular interest in research capacity and scientific leadership in Africa and has sponsored or supervised over 40 research fellows and doctoral students which have included five winners of the Royal Society Pfizer prize for research in Africa. From 2014 he worked with colleagues to lead the development of new platform for the acceleration of science in Africa which has now transitioned to become the Science for Africa Foundation. He is a member of a number of international advisory committees relating to malaria and to global health research. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the The World Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Prince Mahidol prize for medicine in 2010 and the Al Sumait prize for development in Africa in 2015.
Dr Anne Makena, Co-Director
Dr Anne Makena is the Co-Director of the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx), a vibrant platform for all things Africa at Oxford. Anne is responsible for developing and implementing the overall strategy of the Initiative (AfOx), as well as managing the core AfOx programs. AfOx supports a wide range of activities including a travel grant scheme and visiting fellowships for African academics, supporting high quality meetings and providing academic and mentorship support to African students and research staff in Oxford.
Dr Watu Wamae, Research Engagement Manager
Watu Wamae (PhD Economics of Innovation) is Research Engagement Manager at the Africa Oxford Initiative. She leads the AfOx Innovation Platform, which is aimed at connecting research to industry through innovation and entrepreneurship. Her focus is on creating opportunities for pre-seed high growth start-ups and massively scalable, seed-stage science and technology ventures through strategic partnerships with African partners.
Watu has a special interest in strategic approaches to networks for innovation and how these contribute to acquiring innovation capabilities. Other research interests include structural change and dynamics of growth in African economies; mechanisms for connecting research to industry; new perspectives and orientations of industrialisation and science, technology and innovation policy.
Dr David Kerr, Head of Programmes
Dr David Kerr is the Programme Manager of the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx). David is responsible for managing AfOx programs and supporting the development of partnerships with universities and research institutions. AfOx supports a wide range of activities including a travel grant scheme and visiting fellowships for African academics, supporting high quality meetings and providing academic and mentorship support to African students and research staff in Oxford. Prior to joining AfOx David was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Johannesburg where his research focused on street performance in Dar es Salaam.
Ms Adelina Blaga, Senior Programme Officer
Adelina is the Senior Administrator of the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx). Her responsibilities include day-to-day administration of AfOx, administration of AfOx Visiting and Alumni Fellowship schemes, financial management of AfOx grants, funding, procurement and logistics for the organisation. She is also the PA of the AfOx Director, Kevin Marsh.
Prior to working with AfOx, Adelina worked in the admin team of Tropical Medicine.
She holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialisation in Hospitality from Babes- Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Ms Ester Monadjem, Programme Officer
Ester is the Programme Officer of the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx). Her responsibilities include day-to-day administration of AfOx, administration of AfOx Visiting and Alumni Fellowship schemes, financial management of AfOx Thrive awards, procurement, and logistics for the organisation.
Prior to working with AfOx, Ester worked as a Student Admin Officer in the Graduate team of the Engineering Department.
She holds a BA in English and Education from Cebu Normal University, Philippines, an Open Diploma from Open University, Diploma for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) from Swindon College and CELTA from Oxford and Cherwell Valley College
Ms Ruth Shoo, Graduate Student Facilitator
Ruth is the student facilitator for the Africa Oxford Initiative’s (AfOx) scholarship program. Ruth supports AfOx scholars with their needs before and after they arrive in Oxford. She organises the scholars’ orientation programs and coffee catch-ups that ensure that both current scholars and AfOx alumni stay connected.
Ruth holds a B.A in Interdisciplinary American Studies from the University of Tubingen in Germany and an MSc in African Studies from Oxford. She is now doing a DPhil in African American history at Oxford.
Ms Chishimba Kasanga, Student Engagement Officer
Chishimba Kasanga is the Student Engagement Officer at the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx). Chishimba is responsible for identifying ways AfOx can support African graduate students currently studying at the University of Oxford and graduate students working within the AfOx network but based at universities or institutions in Africa. She works closely with Oxford University student societies, particularly the Oxford Africa Society (AfriSoc) and the Oxford African and Caribbean Society (ACS). Chishimba is a recent graduate from Oxford; she pursued a master’s in Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute.
Dr Chimwemwe Manyozo, Communications Officer
Chimwemwe leads the communications at the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) to help AfOx achieve its goals. This includes engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in African institutions and the University of Oxford, creating and promoting content and managing events.
Before joining AfOx, Chimwemwe worked as a Communications consultant with UN Women in Malawi, where he was responsible for supporting and enhancing the visibility of the Spotlight Initiative, a multi-year global programme initiated by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) to eliminate violence against women and girls (VAWG). Chimwemwe has also worked with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Malawi as a Communications Analyst, the Malawi Human Rights Commission as Public Relations Officer, and Zodiak Broadcasting Station as a Producer and Presenter.