AfricaLics (African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems) brings together scholars, researchers and policy analysts who study development, innovation, learning and competence building in an African context.

Africalics was founded during an Innovation and development workshop that took place in March 2012 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop was co-organized by the Globelics Secretariat and the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research organization (STIPRO), a Tanzanian independent think tank.

The overall vision of AfricaLics is to facilitate the production and use of high-quality research in the field of innovation and development with a view to promote inclusive and sustainable development in African countries. AfricaLics is therefore not just a scholarly platform but also aims to provides a platform for collaboration between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in all parts of Africa as well as with partners in the South more generally and with partners in the North.

The network emphasizes interactive learning and promotes plurality in terms of research approach, methodology and theoretical perspectives. AfricaLics fosters a culture where serious research discussions take place in an open and friendly atmosphere. Its activities are based partly on time and resources allocated by members of the network on a voluntary basis and partly on contributions to specific activities from other sources such as universities, government institutions, development agencies and foundations.

The network is managed on a day-to-day basis by a Secretariat, currently hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies, Kenya (ACTS), the home of the AfricaLics’ Secretary General, Dr. Ann Kingiri. Scientific board for the network was established  with Dr. Bitrina Diyamett of STIPRO, Tanzania as the first president succeed by Dr. George Essegbbey of the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of the Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana who is the current president.

Africalics activities include:
  1. Online networking platforms to encourage discussion and linkages between researchers working in the field of African innovation and development
  2. Africalics research conferences – a gathering of scholars located and working on innovation and development in Africa. The conference location circulates between the main regions of Africa from one year to the next.
  3. Africalics PhD Academies – a two-week research training for second and third year PhD students studying at African universities.
  4. AfricaLics visiting fellowships – opportunities for PhD and post-doctoral students from low and low-middle income African countries to receive additional training and capacity building support.
  5. Promotion of research activities / projects and dedicated innovation and development training at African universities

AfricaLics Mentorship Strategy 2021 – 2027


Mentorship has been pursued under AfricaLics to enhance capacity building in the I&D field. To this end, a mentorship report was written based on a survey that was conducted in 2020. One of the emerging recommendations was the development of an AfricaLics strategy on mentoring to provide direction on mentoring activities and a dedicated mentorship programme for AfricaLics.

JOOUST Host the Visiting Fellowship Program in 2022

The aim of the visiting fellowship programme (VFP) is to help African PhD students working in the field of Innovation and Development to strengthen their academic/research qualifications; improve quality of their dissertations and prepare for a career in innovation and development either within academia or outside (e.g. in the private sector or in government/policy making). The programme is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Under the AfricaLics Visiting Fellowship Programme candidates are provided with the
opportunity to participate in a one-year fellowship programme combining online pre- and post-activities with a study period of 3 months at the host university. Mentoring is done  by a range of African and international scholars in Innovation and Development studies who are research active in AfricaLics and Globelics. The programme is housed under the Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development. The chair also includes the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Kenya and University of Sussex in UK.

Calvince Mbeo (VFP Student from mJOOUST) presenting after a group moderated by Prof. Hanlin

The 2022 PhD Visiting Fellowship Programme has had a series of workshops and seminars both physically, hybrid and/or virtually. All of these have involved the students and the secretariat while all Paper Presentation Seminars have also involved their formal PhD supervisors and mentors allocated to them from across the AfricaLics network. This year alone three physical workshops in addition to virtual presentations were held as follows:  1)

Trilateral meetings between supervisors, mentors and VFP PhD students in ICIPE, Duduville Campus

The first workshop was held at Kenya School of Monetary Studies from June 13-22 which brought together Visiting Fellowship Program PhD students, PhD Academy participants, mentors, resource persons, ACTS, JOOUST, University of Johannesburg, University of Sussex. The Workshop was cohosted by JOOUST and attended by eight postgraduate students from JOOUST, 2)

 VFP Participants

Group photo of participants who attended the VFP workshop taken before the gala dinner on 21st September 2023

The second workshop was held at ICIPE from August 24-26, 2022 and attended by JOOUST Staff: Prof. Darius Andika, Prof. Christopher Gor,(leading JOOUST students), Dr. Samuel Liyala, Dr. Calleb Olweny (Mentor – Simon Rop from Egerton Univ)., Prof Benard Muok (Mentor – Stella Kiconco from Uganda), and Prof Solomon Ogara(Mentor – Jennie from Senegal). This workshop brought together the 2022 cohort, 2020-21 cohort, Mentors, home supervisors, facilitators and the secretariat. During the workshop the bilateral meetings allowed VFP supported PhD students meeting with their home supervisors to discuss their work to meet their home supervisors. Additionally, trilateral meetings brought together the six VFP supported PhD students, supervisors and mentors. This was the first physical meeting between the PhD students, supervisors and mentors.

The current one day workshop in JOOUST main campus will be the 5th formal Paper Presentation Seminar. It will be a HYBRID event with students, mentors, and relevant staff/students from JOOUST main campus plus facilitators from the AfricaLics secretariat participating on-site (in Bondo, near Kisumu in Kenya). All others (home supervisors and mentors) will participate online. As usual all the students will be given a chance to present their work (proposal or draft articles/chapters of dissertations) and receive comments and feedback from the mentors, home supervisors and workshop participants.