About Us

Our Vision

A sustainable pan-African science fund supporting high quality doctoral training and research in African universities and other institutions of higher learning.

Our Mission

To strengthen the institutional capacity for quality and sustainable doctoral training, research and innovation in transformative technologies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Rsif Objectives

Rsif is the first Pan-African science fund of its kind which has been created to:

  1. Build a stock of highly skilled scientists and professionals in applied sciences, engineering and technology (ASET).
  2. Address imbalances in the number of women and disadvantaged groups in ASET in Africa.
  3. Build African university capacity to provide relevant ASET training and to ensure continued investment in scaling up the ASET education and workforce.



Our History

The history of the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) goes back to the creation of PASET in 2013. Since its operationalisation in 2017, Rsif has been growing rapidly. See our brief history below.

  • 2013
    • African governments and the World Bank create the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET).
  • 2014
    • PASET unanimously adopts the Call to Action and 10-year goals at the First PASET Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
  • 2015
    • PASET creates the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) as its flagship initiative.
    • Rsif is launched by Senegal’s President Macky Sall along with representatives of the heads of states of Ethiopia and Rwanda.
  • 2016
    • PASET selects the Association of African Universities (AAU) to host the Rsif Implementation Unit.
    • PASET signs MoUs with its first Rsif international partner institutions, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and Maastricht University (MU).
  • 2017


    • PASET Regional Scholarship Innovation Fund is operationalized.
    • Kenya and Rwanda join Rsif.
    • PASET selects four Africa Centers of Excellence as the first Rsif African host universities and the first call for Rsif PhD scholarships is launched.
  • 2018

    • The first cohort of 15 Rsif PhD scholars are enrolled.
    • The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) is competitively selected by the World Bank and PASET to serve as the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) of Rsif.
    • Korea joins Rsif.
  • 2019

    • Rsif students showcase their research at the Fifth PASET Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
    • Côte d’Ivoire joins
    • RSIF African Host Universities increase to eleven.
  • 2020
    • 67 new Rsif students (from 1700 applicants) are enrolled in cohort II .
    • 14 Rsif research and innovation grants are issued.
    • Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal join
    • Rsif international partner institutions increase to 14.
    • Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta hail the important role of Rsif and urge more investors to join.
  • 2021
    • Benin and Mozambique join.
    • 102 new Rsif students (from 2500 applicants) are selected in cohort III.
    • Rsif international partner institutions increase to 17
    • Rsif African host universities increase to 15
    • Rsif get three first graduates
    • Rsif holds a Virtual pre-conference
  • 2022
    • 107 new Rsif students (from 2,085) applicants) are awarded in cohort IV.
    • Nigeria joins
    • Rsif international partner institutions increase to 23.
    • Rsif Conference held at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco.
    • 33 Rsif research and innovation grants are issued to selected AHUs and Research Centres
    • Rsif alumni association formed
    • Rsif graduates increase to eight
  • 2023

    • Rsif graduates exhibit at the PASET governance meetings hosted by Hon. Minister Uwamariya, PASET GC chair, in Kigali Rwanda, 2 February 2023.
    • Rsif graduates reach twelve
    • Rsif student publications surpass 178

PASET as an Africa-Led Solution

The Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) was launched in 2013 by the Governments of Senegal, Ethiopia and Rwanda with facilitation by the World Bank. It aims to address systemic gaps in skills and knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa’s priority ASET fields, and to build the capacity of African education and training institutions to train high quality technicians, engineers and scientists to meet the demands of the economy. Since 2013, more than 25 African countries, as well as representatives of Brazil, China, India, Japan and Korea have participated in PASET’s various activities.

PASET is a unique Africa-led initiative, which aims to build competencies and skills to support growth of key economic sectors that support Africa’s socio-economic transformation spanning upper-secondary level, technical, vocational education and training (TVET), postgraduate education and postdoctoral research and mentorship.


The PASET Approach

The key elements of the PASET approach are that it:

  • Combines African ownership and leadership with global best practice and knowledge
  • Builds capacity of African institutions to deliver quality education and training programs in ASET
  • Strengthens sustainably the research and innovation environment to improve the knowledge generation to utility continuum;
  • Supports both regional and country-level initiatives through financing, technical assistance and knowledge sharing
  • Promotes partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as with new partner countries.

For more information about PASET, please visit:



Policymakers Perspective

Our Priorities

Rsif aims to support doctoral training and post-doctoral research and innovation in five priority economic sectors for growth and development across Sub- Saharan Africa. These include non-agricultural sectors, which are currently underdeveloped and have high growth potential, and receive relatively little research funding, such as materials, minerals and mining, electrical power and energy, manufacturing, telecommunication, transportation and financial services.

Rsif is the first Pan-African science fund of its kind

The approach followed by Rsif of supporting three windows, scholarships together with research and innovation grants that improve the quality and relevance of the PhD programs and guarantee continuity and sustainability of research and innovations once the scholars graduate, follows global best practices for such programs. Rsif incorporates “sandwich” training options that include international study at leading partner universities; provides comprehensive support to students at all stages including post-graduate research support; and provides grants to researchers at universities for undertaking work that is relevant to industry or to set up enterprises.

The program also aims to build research excellence in ASET fields in 10 SSA universities outside of South Africa by developing the capacity for PhD training and undertaking applied research and innovation in partnership with a network of renowned international partner universities and strengthen research capacity regionwide by prioritizing the scholarships to African faculty that lack PhD training.

Rsif Priorities

The current five priority thematic areas are described below:

Food Security

PhD Degree Program
Food science, agriculture,
mechanical engineering,
agricultural engineering,

Development Impact
Food Security


PhD Degree Program
Electrical engineering,
mechanical engineering,
civil engineering, materials
science and engineering,
chemical engineering,
petroleum engineering,
petrochemical engineering,
energy economics/business, and
Environmental engineering

Development Impact
Power generation & distribution

Mining, Mineral and Materials Engineering

PhD Degree Program
Mining engineering,
materials science and engineering,
ceramic engineering,
industrial engineering,
chemistry, and
chemical engineering

Development Impact
Mining-driven development

Information and Computer Technology (ICT)

PhD Degree Program
Electrical engineering,
computer science,
computer engineering,
telecommunication, and ICT business

Development Impact
ICT-driven development

Climate Change

PhD Degree Program
Disaster management, modelling for climate change, sustainability , air pollution, water, soil pesticides, agro climatology,and carbon sequestration.

Development Impact
Climate smart and resilient development

Contribute to Rsif

Rsif is the flagship programme of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)  seeded by African governments and the World Bank and open to companies and development partners to join.

It is the first Pan-African science fund of its kind.

Rsif is designed for flexibility, pooling resources and managed by a reputable African research institute with a 50-year history, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), as the professional implementing agency and regional coordination unit.

We particularly welcome donations into the Rsif endowment fund.

Rsif does provide opportunities for priority aligned donations in line with funder interests and vision, e.g. specific country, institution, priority area. Rsif is also open for providing named programmes for donations above an agreed amount.

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