UCLA has received a $1 million donation to support students conducting research and studying in Africa through the university’s Congo Basin Institute, the school announced Thursday.
“The Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation’s generous gift will help establish UCLA as one of the world’s university leaders in developing solutions to some of Africa’s greatest challenges,” said Thomas Smith, the co-director of the institute.
The funds will be used to research sustainable solutions to food and water insecurity, climate change, biodiversity loss, public health concerns and emerging diseases, according to UCLA.
The Pritzker gift was matched by a $1 million grant from the Global Challenges Research Fund’s Research and Innovation Fund from the United Kingdom.
Established in 2015 in Cameroon by UCLA and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, the Congo Basin Institute brings together multiple resources from the university as well as leading thinkers from institutions in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. Operating programs in five African countries, the institute creates a bridge between UCLA and Africa, which some experts forecast will be home to 40 percent of the world’s population by the end of the century, according to the university.
“Our foundation aims to enrich humanity not just for the present but for generations to come,” said Tony Pritzker, the foundation’s president and the chairman and CEO of Pritzker Private Capital. “By supporting UCLA’s Congo Basin Institute, we are investing in research that will help sustain the future of our planet.”
The Congo Basin Institute’s work aligns on an international scale with the goals of UCLA’s “Sustainable LA Grand Challenge,” a university-wide research initiative to develop clean energy, local water solutions, and preserve biodiversity in order to transition the Los Angeles region to 100 percent renewable energy, 100 percent local water and enhanced ecosystem health by 2050.
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