A new collaboration agreement was signed between the University of Würzburg, the NGO Förderverein Uni Kinshasa, and the University of Pretoria. The Excellence Scholarship Program BEBUC aims at raising a new generation of excellent young professors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The collaboration started in 2013, with a master student in chemistry and BEBUC scholar, jointly mentored by Prof. Gerhard Bringmann from the Chair of Organic Chemistry of the University of Würzburg (and Chairman of the NGO) and Prof. Vinesh Maharaj from Pretoria, Head of the Department of Chemistry (and a member of the NGO since 2015). There are two joint PhD students and a master student, who, after their previous training in the lab of G. Bringmann in Würzburg, are now searching, in Pretoria, for new active agents against malaria and other tropical diseases from African plants. The work is embedded in further collaborations in Pretoria, also involving other partners from natural and agricultural sciences. Further BEBUC scholars from other subjects will follow soon. These joint activities fit well with endeavors of the University of Würzburg to deepen its collaborations with South Africa and to launch a student exchange.
The goal of the Excellence Scholarship Program BEBUC is the support of outstanding young academics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, aiming at a renewal of the universities, in order to make them again a motor for the development of the country. The program is supported mainly by the German foundation Else‐Kröner‐Fresenius‐Stiftung (Bad Homburg) and, in special cases, also by the foundation Holger‐Pöhlmann‐Stiftung (Margetshöchheim) and the Bayer Foundations.
Both collaborations initiated by BEBUC are part of the construction of a large network within the Congo, but also with partners in the North (Würzburg) and in the South (Pretoria). Further collaborations with renowned South‐African universities, like, e.g. in Cape Town, Grahamstown, KwaDlangezwa, and Port Elizabeth, but also in other countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Malawi are presently being developed.
The network, which is thus further growing and getting more intense, reinforces the internationalization of BEBUC as well as the activities for an increased networking of the University of Würzburg. This aspect was also emphasized in the joint discussions.The network, which is further growing and getting more intense, reinforces the internationalization of BEBUC as well as the activities for an increased networking of the University of Würzburg.