The winners of the joint African Forest Forum (AFF) and the School of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL, Bern University, Switzerland) scholarships 2015 are:

Temitope Elizabeth Adeniyi, Nigerian;
Lydia Afriyie, Ghana;
Mulumba Matia Agaba, Uganda; and
and Fredyas Jaurès Eyebiyi from Benin.

The scholarships are awarded to young professionals who possess the highest ability and potential, and those that have already presented an interesting research proposal for their master’s thesis. It covers all expenses including the research project costs.
Applicants were subjected to a two-level selection process. The first step was based on a selection criteria developed by AFF-HAFL scientific experts. The successful candidates were then taken through interviews and aptitude tests in compliance with admission requirements of HAFL. Finally, the top four candidates were selected.
The AFF-HAFL scholarship programme aims to build and strengthen African capacity in forest-related policy and management by providing opportunities for young professionals from Africa to undertake master’s degree studies at HAFL. Those benefiting from the scholarship are expected to become future champions in these areas.
For one to be considered for the scholarship, the topic of his/her master’s thesis must fall within one of the following three broad thematic areas:
The study focus and the topic of the master’s thesis shall be on one of the following four thematic areas:

Vulnerability to climate change and application of promising adaptation measures pertinent to AFOLU;
Policies and practices that integrate mitigation and adaptation in AFOLU;
Private sector in African forestry to address climate change challenges; and
Resilience of social, economic, cultural and biological systems to climate change.

The following are the profiles of the successful candidates:
Temitope Elizabeth Adeniyi is a Nigerian with a Bachelor’s degree in Forest Resources Management and a Masters degree in Forest Economics and Management from the University of Ibadan. Her research interest is in investigating the trends of agricultural yields in the fringes of a degraded forest reserve in a changing climate.


Lydia Afriyie is a Ghanaian holding a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Her major research interest is in ecosystem functions, carbon stock enhancement, REDD+ and the issues of climate change. She plans to study the cocoa agroforest production and related adaptation to climate change in Ghana. 


Mulumba Matia Agaba has a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. Presently, Mulumba is undertaking a Master’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resources at Makerere Univerisity. He would like to study the impact of invasive plant species on tropical agroforestry systems. 


Fredyas Jaurès Eyebiyi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Abomey-Calavi. He is currently working at the regional direction of environment and management of climate change (department of Ouémé and Plateau, Benin). He wants to focus his research on the impact of climate change on agroforestry species and the implications for rural communities.