Tulane part of $25 million effort to research, promote African resilience

November 12, 2012

Michael Strecker
Phone: 504-314-2603

ResilientAfrica, a consortium that includes Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, Makerere University in Uganda, Stanford University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has been awarded a $25 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to apply science and technology to strengthen the resilience of African communities against natural and man-made stresses.  

ResilientAfrica will unite 20 African universities in 16 countries, representing over 300,000 students and faculty members, to form a network to empower African communities.    

"Development and humanitarian assistance have been historically addressed on a project-by-project basis with sectors (health, food, infrastructure, etc.) funded in silos. Although these efforts have saved lives and met immediate program objectives, they have not increased the capacity of affected populations to withstand future shocks and stresses," says Ky Luu, executive director of Tulane's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy.

"Therefore, understanding and strengthening resilience is key to enabling Africa's increasingly educated youth to take advantage of the rapid scientific and technical advances and provide them with the tools needed to accelerate and strengthen responses to development barriers, such as overpopulation, disease, chronic civil conflict, lack of infrastructure and poor governance."

ResilientAfrica will assist USAID and other development stakeholders in Africa to increase productivity and economic growth, promote health, stabilization and good governance and decrease vulnerability to disasters through a holistic assessment of program impact on population resilience. It will also establish a dialogue to understand the pulse of the population and allocate aid to meet the peoples’ self-identified needs. It will be an innovative presence on the ground and create state of the art tools to nurture African and American student ingenuity. 

These efforts will help USAID better identify needs and develop and test sustainable for-profit business solutions in Africa, while increasing the capacity of US students and investors to compete globally.

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