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Eastern Africa Centre (EAC)

The Eastern Africa Centre (EAC) is a strategic University-wide initiative established to support the development of sustainable and equitable research collaborations with our partners.

The Centre, which builds on the strength of our existing links in the region, provides a platform for the development of networks and the delivery of an ongoing programme of research and public engagement activities.

Our Mission

We aim to conduct research that will foster equitable and sustainable partnerships through a transdisciplinary focus on health, social, and ecological wellbeing issues across the eastern Africa region.

Join the Eastern Africa Centre

EAC membership is open to anyone with an interest in research in the Eastern Africa region. We provide opportunities to support, facilitate, and enhance high quality research.

As a member, you will receive regular news bulletins with updates, alerts about funding calls, project news and information about our events. If you are running your own event, please contact us so that we can share with our network.

If you would like to get involved please email our team on


The Eastern Africa Centre focuses on conducting transdisciplinary research through equitable partnerships, co-created applied research, and support to the next generation of research leaders.

Read more about our current initiatives using the links below.

Ecological restoration

Our joint ecological projects are supporting the restoration of native habitats in Kenya and in the wider eastern Africa region, contributing to the delivery of science identified by the UN and UKRI as 'critical and urgent'. This provides a platform to deliver research and training which is key to the future sustainability of diverse tropical ecosystems and their restoration, but with wider relevance to the UK and developed world.

The Eastern Africa Centre is developing research in ecological restoration with NTU’s The School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, the Centre for Ecosystem Restoration – Kenya (CER-K), and other East African partners. The EAC is supporting the appointment of a new Associate Professor in Ecological Restoration and funding two PhD scholarships. Additionally, the EAC has committed a substantive investment in a new research building to house CER-K which will support research and teaching capacity.​

This exciting research builds on our key strengths of sustainability, land-use and farming, and the ecology of plants and animals.​ This research will help develop the underpinning research needed to address biodiversity and ecosystem functions in restoration practices. These are important issues not only globally, but regionally in eastern Africa. This is an area undergoing rapid land-use change, habitat fragmentation, and biodiversity loss, whilst also experience significant climate change.

Project: The role of soundscapes in monitoring ecological restoration


This project aims to explore the use of passive recordings as a monitoring tool by examining its ability to monitor and characterise community composition and diversity of key faunal taxa in a large-scale restoration project.

Methodological approaches used

NTU researchers, in collaboration with the Center for Ecosystem Restoration Kenya and local institutions will establish a network of acoustic monitoring devices within active large-scale restoration projects. This network will be deployed to capture acoustic data in relation to a number of parameters that are likely to influence species/community composition (e.g., altitude, age of restoration plot, restoration plot vegetation composition). Bats, amphibians, terrestrial invertebrates, and birds will be the key taxa studied, given that each of these groups can readily be monitored via acoustic monitoring and act as bioindicators of the health of ecosystems.  The acoustic data outputs will be compared to existing ecological/environmental datasets for the site to enable correlations to be investigated and the acoustic data to be placed in a wider context. Ultimately, this project will help to develop a long-term monitoring framework for restoration and rewilding projects more widely.

Team members

  • Principal Investigator/Director of Studies: Dr Antonio Uzal (NTU)
  • Postgraduate Researcher: Consolata Gathoni (NTU)
  • Co-I: Carlos Abrahams (NTU)
  • Dr Esther Kettel. Co-I. ARES, NTU
  • Dr Paul Webala. Co-I. Maasai Mara University, Kenya


Center for Ecosystem Restoration Kenya

Project:  Ecological restoration

Project:  Brackenhurst history

Project:  HIV life course in Uganda and Zimbabwe including transitional readiness from Paediatric care to geriatric care. 

Research project overview

The study explores the various challenges experienced by people living with HIV from paediatric care to geriatric care. (Global Challenge Research Funding)

Focus countries: Uganda and Zimbabwe

Dates of project: November 2020 to April 2023

Methodological approaches



  • Makerere University (Uganda)
  • Midlands State University (Zimbabwe)

Research team

  • Dr Mathew Nyashanu. Principal investigator. School of Social Sciences, NTU.
  • Ms Farai Pfende. Co-investigator. School of Social Sciences NTU.
  • Dr Scovia Nalugo Mbalinda. Makerere University (Uganda)
  • Mr Dennis Lusota. Makerere University (Uganda).
  • Dr Mandiedza Parichi. Midlands State University (Zimbabwe)
  • Mr Charles Mutowa. Midlands State University (Zimbabwe)

Related Publications

Project: Exploring natural poultry feed additives in Ethiopia

Research project overview

Antibiotics are widely utilized in the poultry and animal husbandry industries for both preventative measures and to boost growth and productivity. However, due to antibiotic resistance and health issues related with antibiotic residuals in poultry products, the use of antibiotics as a feed supplement has been widely banned. Use of commercially extracted phytogenic compounds to maintain poultry health and productivity in the absence of in-feed antibiotics is prohibitively costly for some global regions. Aromatic plants as feed additives in replacement of antibiotics have been widely researched recent years. Phytogenic additives may positively affect feed intake and feed utilization of livestock. Accordingly, the goal of this project is to explore the ability of endogens plant species to replace antibiotics in poultry diets in Ethiopia.

Project Aim:

To explore the ability pf endogens plant species to replace antibiotics in poultry diets in Ethiopia.

Potential Impact

The project aims to be able to replace antibiotics from local and cheap plant species, which in turn decreases antimicrobial resistance. This will alleviate antibiotics from poultry diets and will in turn have a knock on effect in lowering the production costs of eggs and meat for Ethiopian consumers.


Dept of Animal Science. Jimma University.

The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

Team members

Dr Ashraf Alkthib, Investigator. ARES, NTU.

Dr Metekia Tamiru. Investigator. Dept of Animal Science. Jimma University.

Dr Jane Wamatu. Investigator (Scientist-Small Ruminant Nutritionist). ICARDA.

Project: Dromedary camel nutrition for sustainable meat production in dry areas

Research project overview

Camels have an increasingly important role in the livelihood of humans in some geographical regions. The overall population of camels around the world is recently reported as 37,509,000 with the majority of them kept by the farmers in the arid and semi-arid areas of the developing countries.

The dromedary camel is an excellent source of meat particularly in dry areas where climate negatively impacts the performance of other livestock. This is due to physiological features which enable the dromedary camel to tolerate high temperature, solar radiation, water scarcity and poor nutrition.

The decrease in cereal yields as a result of severe drought and global climate change resulted in an  increase in the price of cereal grains and their by-products. Therefore, integrating food-feed crops into camel production systems (like spineless cactus) is now on the top of priorities of agricultural sectors in developing countries. Spineless cactus cladode is a viable replacement to barley and maize grains in the feed rations of dromedary camel calves.

Project Aims

To determine the reliability of spineless cactus cladode as a viable replacement to cereal grains in dromedary camel calves diets. In addition to that, the project aims at summarising and appraising the current knowledge regarding dromedary camel nutrition through conducting a comprehensive and deep systematic review.

Potential Impact

Integrating spineless cactus cladodes in came nutrition in replacement of primary cereal grains would would help decreasing the cost of meat production. It would enable allocating more cereal grains to poultry and human consumption in arid and semiarid areas of the world. The project would help researchers to steer research projects regarding dromedary camel nutrition for meat and milk production.

Team members:

Dr Ashraf Alkthib, Investigator. ARES, NTU.

Dr Mohannad Mona. GCSAR/Syria Investigator, Livestock production.

Dr Metekia Tamiru. Investigator. Dept of Animal Science. Jimma University.

Dr Jane Wamatu. Investigator (Scientist-Small Ruminant Nutritionist). ICARDA.

Project: Enhancing pathogen bioinformatics research capacity in Rwanda Biomedical Centre 


The Rwanda Biomedical Centre oversees all public health programmes in Rwanda, including for tuberculosis, HIV, Measles and other pathogens. The staff have extensive expertise in bacterial drug resistance testing and genome sequencing but training in data analysis and bioinformatics is limited due to lack of national capacity.

This project aims to build a foundation in these topics, focussing on whole genome sequence analyses, transmission tracking and project design. The goal is to create a hub of highly trained bioinformaticians in RBC who can then lead on future research projects.

Methodological approaches used:

Whole genome sequencing, molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics, virology

Team members: 

Collaborators: Rwanda Biomedical Centre

Project: Supporting Social Work In Malawi (SSWIM)


Prof Simon Cauvin has supported social work in Malawi since 2015, working in partnership with University of Malawi in Zomba, the National Association of Social workers in Malawi (created in 2019), and the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare. He co-delivers post-qualified social work and leadership training in Malawi and is developing a picture of Malawian social work through video interviews. Malawian social work remains under-developed, and we aim to ensure legislation is introduced to support professional status and regulation by December 2023.

Malawian partners will contribute towards, and benefit from, the powerful network the EAC provides. The EAC represents a perfect opportunity for NTU to uphold ‘our principles, our ways’, to ‘do the right thing’, and embrace partnership working and co-production in the spirit of decoloniality.

British Association of Social Work, International Development Fund supported this work (£10k).

Methodological approaches 

Qualitative approach

Interviews on social work practice

Surveys on teaching-practice education and leadership

Team members

  • Dr Simon Cauvain, NTU
  • Prof Janet Walker, UoL
  • Felix Kakowa, Uni of Malawi
  • Anstance Chunda.

Building Healthy Communities

We are working in partnership to strengthen health systems and the community health worker and social work workforce in the region, through applied research on primary care and community health promotion, prevention, and education delivery and training. Since 2012, our partners have been awarded over £1.9M to support this activity and ensure that the projects realise the benefits for all communities involved. In addition, work continues on a key project of anti-microbial resistance/stewardship.

Project: NTU-Mak Partnership – Strengthening health systems: Community Health Workers in Uganda


For over 12 years, the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has had a formal partnership with the School of Public Health at Makerere University, Uganda. This collaboration has recently expanded to include other disciplines at both universities including nursing, microbiology, veterinary, as well as environmental and agricultural sciences. The focus of this partnership is on training, community service, research and capacity building in Uganda and UK. The partnership between the 2 universities has worked under 3 Memoranda of Understanding, the current one running from 2018 to 2023 and Makerere University is now a NTU Strategic Partner.

Methodological approaches used:

The model of the partnership is centred on: Mobility, Knowledge Exchange and Social Enterprise and Impact. The partnership through this model has strengthened community health in Wakiso District, Uganda using a health systems approach. The major health systems building blocks targeted by the project at community level are:

  • health workforce (through enhancing the capacity of community health workers (CHWs) and their supervisors who are mainly nurses).
  • health information systems (through supporting the completeness and timely submission of data from CHWs
  • access to essential medicines (through enhancing timely delivery of drugs and other commodities to CHWs
  • health service delivery (through improving performance of CHWs in relation to quality of care, respective care, and timely referral of patients) and governance and leadership (through supporting the supervision and coordination of community health).

Through the partnership weak health systems components in the community has been strengthened. The main outcome of the project is the continual better functioning community health system through improved performance of the CHWs. The partnership has also been involved in the ERASMUS International Credit Mobility which has led to students’ placements, joint PhD completion, international conference attendance including exchange of students including staff and non academic staff (e.g., Community Health Workers) between the two universities.

Team members: 

Professor Linda Gibson NTU-MAK Partnership Lead (UK)

Dr David Musoke NTU-MAK Partnership Lead (Uganda)

Mr Michael Brown Research Associate (NTU)

Ms Grace Biyinzika Lubega Research Associate (Makerere)

Project: Commonwealth Partnership for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS)


This project is a collaboration between the NTU Makerere University Partnership with a range of multi-disciplinary collaborators in the UK and Uganda as listed above. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious and escalating problem globally, with detrimental impacts on health and wellbeing especially in low resource regions. The purpose of this project s to reduce AMR emergence and spread by strengthening infection prevention and control (IPC) and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in Wakiso district, Uganda, with a focus on capacity building, stakeholder engagement, and knowledge exchange, as well as advancing education through teaching and research.

The project uses a  One Health approach which emphasises collaboration between human and animal health as well as the environment. Consequently we work with a range of collaborators to support our work... From the UK, we  work with clinical pharmacists and microbiologists at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, and microbiologists from NTU’s School of Science & Technology, and Animal & Rural & Environmental Studies (ARES). In Uganda, other project partners were: Uganda Pharmacists’ Association; Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda; Ministry of Water and Environment; Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; National Drug Authority; Makerere University Department of Medical Microbiology; One Health Central and East Africa (OHCEA); Makerere University College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity; Infectious Diseases Institute; Wakiso district local government; Uganda National Academy of Sciences; Uganda Medical Association; Uganda Veterinary Association; Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council; National Medical Stores; Entebbe Municipal Council; and Entebbe Hospital.

Methodological/Partnership approach

Using a One Health approach, we raise awareness about AMR and train human health practitioners, community health workers, animal health workers, s, university students and primary school learners on IPC and AMS. We  collected data on antimicrobial prescribing practices at ERRH and conducted a community survey on access to and use of antimicrobials in humans and animals. So far, our partnership has trained 131 human health practitioners (including community pharmacy staff), 37 animal health practitioners and 472 CHWs on AMS/AMR/IPC; sensitised over 300 pupils from primary schools in Uganda and the UK on AMR/AMS/IPC; established two multidisciplinary online Communities of Practice for health professionals and students, with a current membership of 542 and 266 respectively. The partnership has also established a Medicine and Therapeutics Committee at ERRH; conducted 2-point prevalence surveys (PPS) of antimicrobial prescriptions at ERRH; trained 4 pharmacy interns and 4 hospital staff on PPS data collection to support the future sustainability of this intervention; mentored 5 lower-level health facilities in AMS; trained lab workers in AMR/AMS and how it relates to their diagnostic roles. In addition, 2 Ugandan pharmacists visited UK partners to learn about how AMS is implemented in the UK health system.

The CwPAMS project has improved knowledge on AMR and enhanced practices on infection prevention and antimicrobial use among human and animal health practitioners, community pharmacy staff and community health workers following the training on AMS/AMR/IPC; improved AMS at  Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital (ERRH) following establishment of a medicines and therapeutics committee and related activities; increased sharing of resources and opportunities on AMS/AMR through our established 2 online communities of practices (for both students and health practitioners); led to the development of draft AMS action plans at ERRH and 5 lower-level health facilities; GPPS training and data collection by ERRH pharmacists; and increased awareness of pupils on AMS/AMR/IPC through sensitisation sessions we conducted in schools. Our successes have been presented at various webinars including those organised by the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association; THET; the Uganda National One Health technical working quarterly meetings.

Project: An Exploration of the Impact of Social Enterprise Projects on Women’s Health in Teso Sub-Region, Uganda.


My research explores the impact of women’s social enterprise projects on their health and wellbeing in a rural, marginalised region of Uganda. It examines how women’s health has been impacted by climate change, alongside interrelated factors of poverty and gender-based violence. It analyses how the women who belong to enterprise groups are utilising their indigenous knowledge to mitigate the impact of these oppressions. My research also explores my status as an insider and outsider to the enterprise projects, which are supported by a charity that I chair. In discussing my positionality, I examine how, as a researcher from the minority world I can ethically study an indigenous population.

Methodological approaches used:

Qualitative, Bricolage, Ethnography, Autoethnography


Ms Sally Squires, PhD candidate, NTU

Supervisors: Prof Linda Gibson, NTU & Dr Mathew Nyanshanu, NTU


Makerere University School of Public Health

Project: Societal well-being in fragile and conflict-affected settings: Development of a new global Index


Mass displacement, armed conflict, and effects of the pandemic are disproportionately felt in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Long-term peace and security are inextricably tied to the health and well-being of a population. However, there is limited evidence on the longer-term health and societal impacts among those who have survived conflict & gender-based violence or other societal shocks.

Our research addresses an urgent need to bring together transdisciplinary methods (public health, developmental economics, climate change, gender, statistics, social science) to innovate how we conceptualise and measure health and inequality and their contributions to peace and security.

We aim to develop a new global index focused on key factors needed for peace, security, and health in conflict-affected and other fragile settings, using a gender lens.

Our research addresses an evidence gap by: (1) developing a new global index to assess key factors needed for peace, security, and health in conflict-affected and other fragile settings; and (2) developing innovative approaches to measurement that account for missing data, challenging settings, sensitive topics, and hard to reach populations.

The new global Index will be a tool that stakeholders can use to identify key priorities, needed reforms and challenges that work towards achieving local and international priorities which improve societal well-being.

Methodological approaches used:

Rapid literature review and mapping, online focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, quantitative text mining, concept mapping, online surveys, statistical data analysis, data visualisation.

Team members: 

Prof Mazeda Hossain. Principal Investigator. Professor of Global Health and Director of the Eastern Africa Centre. NTU.

Dr Giulia Ferrari. Co-Investigator. Centre for Women, Peace & Security, LSE.

Dr Ligia Kiss. Co-Investigator. Institute for Global Health, UCL.

Prof Loraine Bacchus. Co-Investigator. Global Health & Development, LSHTM.

Ms Leah Kenny. Centre for Women, Peace & Security, Research Officer. LSE.

Ms Eva Klaus. Centre for Women, Peace & Security,Research Assistant. LSE.

Mr Ben Allen. Research Assistant. Dept of Psychology, NTU.

Mr Jonathan Conway. The Eastern Africa Centre, NTU.


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL)

Project: Research Project:Values-Driven Leadership & the Research on Ethical African Leadership (REAL)-Network:

Summary :

The Values-Driven Leadership (VDL) programme empowers leaders to act on their values and address ethical risks in their organisations and society, despite systemic pressures.

The programme was developed in 2015 with a focus on the African continent, and in a collaboration with the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS), corporate members and business schools in South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

Nine workshops have been co-delivered with local partners across Africa. It is supported by an alumni & researcher network, the Research on Ethical African Leadership (REAL) Network.

In 2019, the programme was also adapted to, and implemented in 7 public health facilities in South Africa, with impact research conducted in 2020.

Potential impact:

  • Increased professional and sectoral commitment towards ethical leadership awareness and practice.
  • Improvements in departmental and inter-departmental practices and in between organisations.
  • Personal development and empowerment of professionals and leaders.

Research team

Professor Mollie Painter. Director, Responsible & Sustainable Business Lab. Nottingham Business School.

Dr Elmé Vivier. Senior Research Fellow, Responsible & Sustainable Business Lab. Nottingham Business School.

Project: A rapid assessment of the gender-based violence (GBV) situation and response in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique


During humanitarian crises, gender-based violence (GBV) is a life-threatening health and protection issue, often continuing beyond the early phases of emergencies. GBV is a common violation faced by internally displaced people (IDPs), particularly for women and girls, but also for men and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) populations.

Specific evidence to guide GBV responses in Cabo Delgado is needed. In the province of Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique, over 740,000 people have fled the north-eastern and central parts of the province since armed conflict began in 2017. Existing evidence suggests that GBV has been a key feature of the conflict. However, specific information that could guide humanitarian responses on the forms and drivers of GBV and the availability and reach of existing GBV services is missing or unclear.

This rapid assessment, carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Mozambique, sought to understand the GBV risks and response for displaced populations in Cabo Delgado.

The conflict in Cabo Delgado has had a devastating impact, especially for women and girls who are experiencing ongoing and new forms of GBV. The crisis has compounded multiple forms of GBV including intimate partner violence (IPV), physical and sexual violence, abduction, sexual trafficking, sexual exploitation, and abuse (SEA), early and forced marriage, and economic violence. Existing support structures and prevention measures have been widely compromised by conflict and displacement, leaving the urgent needs of GBV survivors overwhelming unaddressed.

Methodological approaches

This project builds on research from Prof M Hossain’s work with refugee community workers delivering GBV response and prevention services in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya. Information was collected through qualitative interviews with GBV service providers and focus group discussions (FGDs) with community-based volunteers involved in the GBV response. Data was collected between August and October 2021 in the districts of Metuge, Montepuez and Pemba. All research activities followed existing guidelines on safe and ethical research on GBV in emergencies.

Impact and current work

Research findings were incorporated into developing the GBV response services by UNHCR (Mozambique) in response to the ongoing armed conflict.

Prof Hossain in collaboration with colleagues at LSHTM and UNHCR are continuing data analysis and developing peer-reviewed publications.


  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


D’Odorico, G., Hossain, M., Jamal, E., Scarpassa do Prado, D., Roberts, C. and Palmer, J., 2021. A rapid assessment of the gender-based violence (GBV) situation and response in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. London: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.


The EAC is working across several capacity strengthening and mobility projects with our partner universities in the Eastern Africa region.

Recent examples include the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility project and our collaboration with Makerere University in Uganda.

Who we are

An Advisory Board, with membership from across our partner network in the region as well as the local Nottinghamshire area, will steer the direction of the Eastern Africa Centre and provide valuable input and oversight of the activities taking place.

Ms Consolata Gathoni (School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences)

Ms Sally Squires (School of Social Sciences)

Developing early career networks

Our established Africa and Middle East Network, and the development of our new Eastern Africa PhD Hub (info coming soon), are platforms on which NTU can establish key frameworks where academics in the UK and our partners in the region can connect and develop impactful collaborations. These initiatives facilitate the development of key networks, build expertise, and facilitate knowledge transfer across a range of subject areas.

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