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Sending tremors through Africa’s research funding landscape

  

UK departmental merger could change the playing field for research—again

Being a researcher in an African country is a bit like playing a multidimensional board game. The board is propped up by international funding programmes, and when funders change their programmes, or axe them altogether, the board wobbles, and the pieces—African researchers—risk slipping off. 

The announcement this week that the United Kingdom Department for International Development will be merged with the country’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office could herald such a wobble. The DFID is a major supporter of research in Africa, and the merger has been widely touted to signal a move towards more self-interest in the UK’s foreign policy. 

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