Mobilising Regional Capacity Initiative (MRCI)


The Mobilising Regional Capacity Initiative (MRCI) was a programme of the Association of African Universities, which was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom for the strengthening of partnerships between the AAU and the main sub-regional and national bodies representing higher education institutions in Africa, as part of the drive for sustainable development of the continent.

The role of the AAU in the revitalisation of African higher education would be to mobilise resources and facilitate interaction in order to enhance the capacities of its members and partner organisations, which in turn will support the contribution of their constituents and networks to the development process throughout the continent.

The four-year programme was being funded by a £3.5 million grant from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. The Fund was meant to be competitive, in the sense that project proposals had to be selected and assessed on merit, before approval. While DFID was not directly involved in the management of the projects supported by the Challenge Fund, the DFID expects timely reports that reviewed project implementation and progress in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Goal of MRCI and the Challenge Fund

To strengthen African Higher Education institutions to act as catalysts for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Purpose of MRCI and the Challenge Fund

Renewal and strengthening of African higher education institutions

Expected Outcomes of MRCI and the Challenge Fund:

  1. Enhanced capacity of higher education institutions for information sharing, innovation and reform.
  2. Policy-oriented research leading to policy briefs on innovative ways for higher education institutions to contribute to national development programmes and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
  3. Development of policy frameworks that addressed key issues such as schemes for enhancing enrolment of under-represented groups and quality of teaching and learning, among others.


Project 1: (SAURA) Mainstreaming Higher Education in National and Regional Development in Southern Africa.

Project 2: (MAKERERE UNIVERSITY, UGANDA – A) Investigating Some of the Complex Links Between Higher Education and Poverty Reduction in Africa.

Project 3: (MAKERERE UNIVERSITY, UGANDA – B) Enhancing Use of Science & Technology for Enterprise Development Through Increased Interraction with High Education Instittutions and Research Organisations.

Project 4: (IUCEA-Inter-University Council for East Africa, UGANDA) Enhancing the Capacity of East African Universities to Utilize ICT for Sustainable Regional DevelopmentT.

Project 5: (ANAFE, KENYA) Improving the Availability and Relevance of Agricultural Learning Resources in Africa.

Project 6: (Universidade Catolica de Mozambique) An Assessment of the Sustainability of Agricultural Practices and Technologies in Improving rural livelihoods and farm production levels in semi-arid regions of Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Project 7: (UNAAB, NIGERIA) Partnership for Regional Food Developers Initiative – A Capacity Building Support Strategy for Poverty Reduction in West Africa and the Establishment of a Food and Organic Agriculture Network.

Project 8: (University of Botswana, BOTSWANA) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research, dissemination and utilization in Southern African Universities.

Project 9: (Kenyatta University) Mapping Out Best Practices for Improving Access to Higher Education for Orphaned and Vulnerable Students (OVSs) in Kenya and Rwanda

Project 10: (University of KwaZulu-Natal) NextEd-AFRICA Project: Africa’s Virtual Higher Education Classroom.

Project 11: Implementing the Third Mission of Universities in Africa: Contributing to the Millennium Development Goals.

Project 12: Millennium Development Goals Capacity Building for Higher Institutions of Learning.(MRCI310)

Project 13: Enhancing the Contribution of Universities to Development Processes in Eastern and Southern Africa.(MRCI311)

Project 14: Transforming teaching and learning in Faculties of Agriculture through the development of electronic teaching content for RUFORUM Supported Regional Postgraduate Programmes. (MRCI315)

Project 15: The Contribution of Universities in East Africa Towards the Attainment of Millennium Development Goal -5 for Maternal Health. (MRCI 322)

Project 17 : Establishment of Food Science and Nutrition Network for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Rural Livelihood in West Africa. (MRCI 325)

Project 18 : Scaling-Up Best-Practices in Tertiary Agricultural Education Teaching Through Networking in West Africa: The Case for Experiential Learning. (MRCI 326)

Project 19: Gender Equity in Institutions Offering Environmental Health Programmes in Africa. (MRCI 328)

Project 20: Development of a Framework for the Sharing of R&D Resources on the Internationalization of Higher Education in Africa. (MRCI 329)

Project 21: Modeling rural school based young animators for an enhanced and sustainable usage of ICTs in farming communities of Nigeria and Botswana. (MRCI-SUPL 01)

Project 22: On-farm popularization of sunflower intercropping with arable crop production for poverty alleviation among the small holder farmers in Nigeria and Botswana. (MRCI-SUPL 04)

Project 23: Enhancing management of natural resources through the empowerment of traditional leaders in the oil and gas region in Ghana towards poverty reduction By Institute of Professional Studies (IPS).

Project 39: Improving the availability and relevance of agricultural learning resources in Africa



The MRCI programme, which commenced in 2007 aims to build regional capacity to support African higher education institutions in promoting sustainable development, meeting the Millennium Development Goals and poverty eradication on the continent.

For further infomation about MRCI Project contact us now:


Mobilizing Regional Capacity Initiatives (MRCI),
Association of African Universities,
P.O. Box AN 5744,ACCRA, GHANA ,

Tel. +233-24-293-7782 , Fax: +233-302-774821

For more information about MRCI Project coordination contact:

Prof. Jonathan C. Mba (Coordinator)
Mobilizing Regional Capacity Initiatives (MRCI),
Association of African Universities,
P.O. Box AN 5744, ACCRA, GHANA,

Telephone: +233-54-051-6599, Fax: +233-302-774821