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Landmark £1 million donation to boost Bristol’s research in Africa

A delegation from Bristol visit the University of Nairobi for the Worldwide Universities Network Global Africa Group workshop in November 2018

Press release issued: 22 March 2019

The University of Bristol has received a landmark £1 million donation to further its research activity and impact in Africa.

The generous gift from The Perivoli Trust will create new roles and opportunities for Bristol researchers to tackle key challenges and pioneer innovative solutions for the most pressing concerns on the continent.

A new Perivoli Chair in Africa Research and Partnerships will develop and expand the University's portfolio of interdisciplinary research in partnership with universities, international agencies, charities, governments and organisations across Africa.

The gift will additionally fund opportunities for Vice-Chancellor Fellowships, PhD scholarships and ultimately lead to the creation of a new Centre for Africa Research and Partnerships to achieve real and impactful change in the Trust's priority areas of research: education, health and wellbeing, sustainable agriculture, resilience and governance, and migration and mobility.

The University has over 50 active research projects working with African partners, co-created with regional communities to bring real and local impact.

Working with its partners in the Worldwide Universities Network and international agencies, Bristol leads projects on sustainable ruminant farming; migration data, policy and development; health outcomes of migration events, and resilient peacebuilding in Africa.

The University also leads education projects exploring how students from rural areas negotiate the transition to higher education and the factors that shape the educational achievement of disadvantaged learners in Africa.

The University also is a founding member of TransformU, the UNFPA's (UN Population Fund) new university network and will work to help achieve UNFPA's vision to end unmet need for family planning, maternal death and gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol, said: "This generous gift from The Perivoli Trust will enable us to further our work in Africa, achieving impactful change through new innovations and initiatives.

"We have over 50 active research projects working with African partners and through the new Perivoli Chair in Africa Research and Partnerships, we will be able to increase the visibility of our work in Africa and maximise the potential of our networks.

"Our vision for a Centre for Africa Research and Partnerships is unique and, ultimately, we hope it will reimagine how UK universities work in Africa to create transformative change to benefit our partners in Africa."

The new Perivoli Chair in Africa Research and Partnerships is now being recruited. They will champion, lead, and coordinate existing activity, while at the same time cultivating new partnerships and identifying opportunities for further growth, strengthening the breadth and depth of partnerships on a global scale.

The Perivoli Trust has a philanthropic focus mostly on the Emerging World and especially Africa. Through the Perivoli Schools Trust, it has transformed nursery education in Namibia, Malawi and Zambia. So far, through this initiative they have trained 5,500 nursery school teachers in reaching an estimated 150,000 children.

The Perivoli Trust has also enjoyed a successful relationship with the University of Bristol over the past ten years, funding a number of key projects which have had a direct impact in Africa. This latest gift represents the Trust’s and the University's shared ambition to strive for innovative approaches to achieve impactful change that will benefit generations for years to come in Africa.

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