CIRCLE Programme at UCT

UCT is proud to be hosting 3 Visiting Fellows from the CIRCLE Programme in 2016.

The Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa (CIRCLE) programme is an initiative of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK) to develop the skills and research output of early career African researchers in the field of climate change and its local impacts on development. The programme will run from 2014 to 2018, with the second cohort of CIRCLE Visiting Fellows (CVFs) beginning in January 2016, and is managed and implemented by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) 

UCT, through the ACDI and the Research Office (specifically the Emerging Researcher Programme) are hosting 3 Visiting Fellows, each supervised by a UCT academic staff member  and undertaking unique research projects under the broad theme of climate change impacts in Africa.  As the tenure of each fellowship is 1 year, the CIRCLE Visitng Fellows will be based at UCT until December 2016 after which they will return to their home institutions, to continue their research.

Dr Olushola Fadairo

Fellowship Category: Post-PhD

Nationality: Nigerian

Home Institution: University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria

Mentor at Home Institution: Prof Janice Olawoye

Host Institution: University Of Cape Town, South Africa

Supervisor at Host Institution: Prof Richard Calland

Research Topic: Broaching research on corruption in ecological fund management for climate change mitigation.

CVF Fadairo is researching on corruption in ecological fund management for climate change mitigation in Nigeria under the broad theme of climate change financing and policy. He hopes his research will stimulate debate on transparency in climate change financing.


Faridah Nalwanga  


Fellowship Category: Post-Masters

Nationality: Ugandan

Home Institution: Makerere University (MU), Uganda

Mentor at Home Institution: Dr Paul Musali

Host Institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa

Supervisor at Host Institution: Prof Merle Sowman
Research Topic: Environmental change and emergent livelihood outcomes in natural resource dependent communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

CVF Nalwanga’s area of research is Women Adaptation to Climate change and implication on Health in Natural Resource Dependent Communities. During her CIRCLE fellowship, she will investigate the drivers of environmental change, adaptation strategies, factors that enable or constrain adapted livelihoods, role of actors, and map where the most vulnerable populations to environmental change are located. The focus will be on women because of their limited access to and control over resources, different position within the household and different and changing roles in society. The study will explore the unique ability of women to respond to environmental change.

Portia A. Williams

Fellowship Category: Post-Masters

Nationality: Ghanaian

Home Institution: Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the CSIR (STEPRI-CSIR), Ghana

Mentor at Home Institution: Dr George Owusu Essegbey

Host Institution: University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa

Supervisor at Host Institution: Dr Olivier Crespo

Research Topic: Assessing the impact of climate change on agricultural production: the case of pineapple production in Ghana.

CVF Williams’ area of research is Agricultural productivity, Innovation, Climate Impacts and Policy. She is researching into ‘Climate Variability Impact on Food Production in Ghana: The case of Pineapple’. The research focuses on assessing the effect of climate variability on pineapple production and coping strategies employed by pineapple farmers in Ghana. The study would provide a holistic study on pineapple production which will play a critical role in assisting pineapple farmers adapt to climate variability and cope with short term impacts.

We look forward to following their research journey through the year and seeing the fruits of their research in the months to come

Contact person at ACDI: Kirsty Nortje at

More info on the CIRCLE Programme