OR Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative

Call for Expressions of Interest

The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa in partnership with the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation, are calling for Expressions of Interest by African public research-intensive universities (excluding South Africa) .It is the intention to establish an initial ten (10) OR Tambo Africa Research Chairs, restricted to 15 countries in the rest of the continent.

Countries included in this initiative are Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Botswana.Please note that South Africa is excluded from the initiative.


The OR Tambo Africa Research Chairs combine political, development and higher education objectives. They aim to honour a leading figure in the development of African unity; have a catalytic impact on the development of research infrastructure in recipient countries; and contribute to knowledge production and high end skills in alignment with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024). Through international and regional strategic partnerships, the Chairs will contribute to the development of long term mutually beneficial research collaborations on the continent.

The key objectives of the initiative are to:

  • Contribute to expanded research and innovation capacities in and for Africa, in alignment with AU Agenda 2063 and STISA 2024;
  • Attract and retain excellent researchers and scientists within Africa’s higher education system;
  • Contribute to Africa’s global research competitiveness while responding to the continent’s socio-economic needs;
  • Contribute to Africa’s career pathways for young and mid-career researchers, with a strong research, innovation and human capital development output trajectory; and
  • Honour and promote the legacy of OR Tambo, emulating his values of professional excellence, integrity, inclusiveness, honesty, humility and respect for human dignity.

The initial ten (10) OR Tambo Africa Research Chairs are restricted to 15 countries in Africa are will be focused on research priorities (refer to framework and application guideline) identified by each host institution in conjunction with the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in sub-Saharan Africa and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) countries in particular, and in alignment with AU Agenda 2063 and STISA 2024. Shortlisted host institutions will then be invited to submit full proposals.

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