Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives 2009

Humboldt Alumni Award 2009: Award Ceremony in Berlin
Humboldt Alumni Award 2009
Award Ceremony in Berlin
Photo: Humboldt Foundation/W. Reiher

The award ceremony took place on 8 June during the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Berlin. The following initiatives are now being granted the very first Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives:

Network for West Africa’s researchers

Adjai Paulin Oloukpona-Yinnon would like to utilise the Humboldt Alumni Award to build up a West African, cross-border Humboldt Network for sustainable academic cooperation within Africa, able to offer systematic linkages to Germany. The network is also designed to embrace countries in which there are no Humboldtians at present. He is planning to run a conference in Lomé in 2011 in the context of the “German Cultural Weeks in Togo” to which academics and representatives of universities, research institutions, multilateral funding agencies and others will be invited. By 2012, it is hoped that 15 countries in the "Economic Community of West African States" (ECOWAS) will be fully networked.

Adjai Paulin Oloukpona-YinnonProf. Dr. Adjai Paulin Oloukpona-Yinnon
is a Professor of German Literature at Lomé University. In 1987, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow at Bayreuth University and has fostered contacts with academics in Germany ever since. He is President of the "Alexander von Humboldt Network in Africa" and represents the continent of Africa in the International Association of German Scholars.

Revitalising contacts between researchers in Central Asia

Bakhtyjar Karimov has set himself the goal of renewing and intensifying contacts between Humboldt alumni in Central Asia. He is planning an interdisciplinary, supra-regional network for science, education, culture and business.
Karimov will be involving other Humboldt alumni from Central Asia in the project as well as Humboldt hosts from Germany. A website and a web forum intended to embrace Humboldt Alumni Associations, universities, international research institutes, funding organisations as well as development aid agencies across the world are designed to promote closer networking amongst researchers.

KarimovProf. Dr. Bakhtyjar Karimov
is a Professor of Ecology in the Laboratory of Hydroecology at the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences in Tashkent. From 1995 to 1997, he was a Humboldt Research Fellow in the Zoological Institute at Hamburg University and has repeatedly spent time researching in Germany since then. He is a member of the Council for Scientific and Technical Development and has been President of the Humboldt Association of Uzbekistan since 2003.

Better opportunities for Nigeria’s junior researchers

Odunayo C. Adebooye would like to build up the "Scientific and Humanities Research Information Network" (SHRINET) in Nigeria. The aim of the network is to abolish the information deficit amongst Nigerian junior researchers, which results from inadequate access to the Internet and international publications, and thus reduce the concomitant handicaps to their academic work. Experienced Humboldt alumni will advise promising young Nigerian researchers and help them prepare applications for fellowships offered by organisations like the German Academic Exchange Service and the Humboldt Foundation.

AdebooyeDr. Odunayo C. Adebooye 
works in the field of plant breeding and plant genetics in the Department of Plant Science at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. He was granted a Georg Forster Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2006 and has remained in close contact with his host, Prof. Dr. Georg Noga of the Institute of Horticultural Sciences at Bonn University, since then; he is still currently working there on the strength of sponsorship provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Together with other Humboldtians, the two researchers have initiated an African-German Research Network.