Dear Colleagues and friends of ACCESS
It has been a unprecedentedly hectic time for us in the last few weeks, and we are rushing toward financial year end and breakneck speed! We felt that an update from ACCESS is overdue. We are thus writing to update you on a few items.
You may have heard that the ACCESS Director, Dr Jimmy Adegoke has left his post at the CSIR and is returning to the USA. This means that he will also be leaving his post as ACCESS Director and the CSIR as host organisation, together with the ACCESS Board and Steering committee will be considering our options to replace Jimmy. It would be remiss of us not to thank Jimmy for the energy and vigour with which he has taken ACCESS forward and we are grateful to him for his significant contribution. I hope that he will continue to have a role in ACCESS via his connections in the US and in Nigeria and we wish him well for the future.
ACCESS is steaming ahead with its implementation and we are hereby proud to announce the recruitment of 95 post-graduate students (with some more to come). These students are distributed across our partners organisations including the agencies. I have a attached a spreadsheet contain the pertinent information about these students for your interest. As a first step in this implementation phase we are very proud!
ACCESS is currently in the process of facilitating two proposals to the SPACES programme which will be centred around the Eastern Cape (Wild Coast Living Labs) and the Limpopo region (Limpopo Living Landscapes). These proposals are focussed on these respective regions with goal of engaging our HBU partners with targeted international projects. We are hopeful that we will get the documents prepared in time and that we will deliver another batch of students to the ACCESS family!
Talking of students, we are vigorously perusing a range of activities including the National Masters Programme, The Habitable Planet Workshops (which held one event in Namibia earlier this year) and our bursary programme. ACCESS was overwhelmed with the response to the call for bursaries and we are seeking additional funding to attempt to address the clear need for funding for post-graduates nationally. Sadly, with the funds we have, we were only able to recruit about ¼ of those who applied.
ACCESS intends to continue to grow and thrive in the healthy environment created by our principals in the NRF and DST Global change grand challenge. We are in talks with several international partners about further collaborations and hope to work with government to increase the resourcing of the programme as we develop. Strong support has been received from all of our principals and the GCGC has established a office under the leadership of Dr Achuo Enow with whom we are working closely.
We are also going to be holding our Steering Committee Meetings and Board meetings in April / May and we will let you know of these and other activities in due course.