Developing PhD talent and research to grow cities

Wednesday 24 May 2017 -
09:30 to 10:45

What is the role of universities in producing talent for the economic and social development of cities? How can universities in Sub-Saharan Africa attract, develop and retain research talent, and engage with local communities and industry to ensure they produce sustainable, high quality “research that matters”?

Findings from British Council and DAAD research investigating PhD quality and capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa will explore examples of good practice, and report the developments in relationships between national strategies, university research production and local industry partners in nurturing talent for economic and social development in cities.

University leaders and government advisors from across Sub-Saharan Africa will respond to the research findings and engage in discussion of the challenges faced, as well as the strategies for overcoming these challenges to ensure the region can develop high quality research and researchers.


  • Professor Michael Roberts, UK-SA Bilateral Research Chair, University of Southampton - Nelson Mandela University, South Africa (Chair)
  • Professor Stephanie Burton, Vice-Principal of Research and Postgraduate Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa 
  • Samuel Asmelash Gebremedhin, Senior Expert for Higher Education Administrive Affairs, Higher Education Sector of the F.D.R.E Ministry of Education, Ethiopia
  • James Jowi, Executive Director, ANIE, Kenya 
  • Dr Vincente Sinining, Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, Rwanda