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The Royal Society-Department for International Development (RS-DFID) Africa Capacity Building Initiative is a programme to develop collaborative research consortia between scientists in sub-Saharan Africa and scientists in the UK. Thus, a research and training grant of £1, 243, 000 was awarded to a consortium of four research groups in December 2014. The consortium is led by UK principal investigator Professor Nora de Leeuw of Cardiff University (CU), and three African partner research groups led by Professor Evans Adei of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, Professor Olayinka Oyetunji of the University of Botswana (UB) and Dr. Veikko Uahengo of the University of Namibia (UNAM).

The title of the programme is “New Materials for a Sustainable Energy Future: Linking Computation with Experiment” and aims to develop and employ state-of-the-art computational techniques and synthesis/characterisation methods to design and optimise new catalysts and semi-conductor materials for renewable energy applications. The larger research theme concentrates on two major areas of sustainable energy research:

i. Development of benign catalysts for the conversion of biomass from waste to fuels and chemicals;

ii. Development of novel efficient solar cell materials

This partnership promises to provide the necessary synergy between computation and experiment to achieve the ambitious research aims and deliver a high-quality cross-disciplinary training programme in material science and simulation techniques relevant to renewable energy applications.


1st-5th August 2017

Namibia meeting on the campus of University of Namibia

23 January, 2017

Consortium members at South Africa's Centre for High Performance Computing

1-5 August, 2016

Consortium members meet in Kumasi,  Ghana, for materials science and crystallography workshop

03 June,15

First project meeting of the consortium in Cardiff University, Wales

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