Language Switcher

Switch Language

The next generation of scientific leaders in Africa

In the first year of our unique collaboration with the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation supporting science in Africa, 8 brilliant scientists have been selected for fellowships in recognition of their already outstanding achievements in their academic careers. 3 candidates were selected to undertake postdoctoral research in the life sciences in Germany, and 5 PhD students received grants to further their studies within Africa.

The 2021 generation of Alexander von Humboldt-Bayer fellows includes three researchers from sub-Saharan Africa that were selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation based on their outstanding research proposals with a focus on topics relevant to the development of Africa. The five outstanding PhD students were selected from 481 applications by the African-German Network of Excellence for Science and receive grants of up to € 7,000 for work in the fields of biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture.

Meet the 2021 fellows:




Fellowships in the Life Sciences for postdoctoral researchers

Dr. Smith Borakaeyabe Babiaka


From University of Buea, Cameroon, going to Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany


Georg Forster-Bayer-Research Fellowship
Project: Discovery of Novel Antimicrobial Leads from Terrestrial and Marine World





Dr. Emmanuel Ochefije Ngbede


From University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria, going to Leibniz-Institute DSMZ (German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures), Braunschweig, Germany


Georg Forster-Bayer-Research Fellowship
Project: Genomic insight into the population and transmission dynamics of Clostridioides difficile at the human-animal-environment interface in a low-middle income country of sub Saharan Africa





Dr. Emeka Godfrey Nwoba


From Murdoch University, Australia, going to Leipzig University, Germany


Humboldt-Bayer-Research Fellowship
Project: New photobioreactor designs for industrial scale biogas production using microalgae and solar energy/ Mechanism of algae-based glycolate excretion






AGNES-Bayer Research Grants for PhD students in biodiversity conservation & sustainable agriculture

Alhassan Abdul-Wakeel Karakara


School of Economics,

University of Cape Coast, Ghana


Project: Marine biodiversity conservation: the cultural aspect of marine protected areas in Ghana






Oluwadunsin Emmanuel Adekol


FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology,

University of Cape Town, South Africa


Project: Understanding life-history strategies, feather quality and moult patterns in Amur Falcons, Cape Gannets, Shy Albatrosses and White-chinned Petrels






Abrham Belay Mekonnen


Hawassa University, Ethiopia

University of Nairobi, Kenya


Project: Do Climate-Smart Agriculture Practices and Technology improve smallholder agriculture in Ethiopia?







Haftay Hailu Gebremedhn


Africa Center of Excellence for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation,

Haramaya University, Ethiopia


Project: Carbon Stocks, Sequestration and Biodiversity Functions in Semiarid Pastoral Ecosystem of Eastern Ethiopia








Konoutan Medard Thibaut Kafoutchoni


Laboratory of Applied Ecology,
Faculty of Agronomic Sciences,
University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin


Project: Selecting drought tolerant genotypes of Kersting’s groundnut (Macrotyloma geocarpum (Harms) Maréchal & Baudet) for yield improvement and crop adaptation in small scale farming systems in Benin








Bayer Foundation meets Alexander von Humboldt Foundation


After more than one year working together with the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation virtually due to the global pandemic, on the 1st of April we were finally able to meet in person. The teams from Bayer Foundation and Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation had an insightful discussion on how to further support science in sub-Saharan Africa, and explored topics including gender in science, how to facilitate collaboration and the unique challenges facing science from the region. You can read more about how the collaboration aims to build scientific capacity in sub-Saharan Africa and enable scientists from the region to define and address the most relevant local challenges here.



Dr. Monika Lessl, Executive Director of the Bayer Foundation, and  Dr. Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation




More stories like this:

Preserving nature, promoting new varieties

Preserving nature, promoting new varieties

Read more

Enabling Young African Scientists to Become Scientific Leaders in Their Community

Enabling Young African Scientists to Become Scientific Leaders in Their Community

Read more

"It gave me a lot of confidence for the future"

"It gave me a lot of confidence for the future"

Read more