The RISE conference ended at midday today and by now everybody is on their way home. After all the discussions and presentations that have taken place over the past week, one question remains: What is next for the RISE programme?
The answer is, hopefully, more of the same. The RISE networks are nearing the end of their first 2.5 years of funding. It is very likely that its funders will approve another 3-year term to see current students through their degrees and to recruit new students when others graduate. This will be ‘Phase 2′ of the programme, and won’t involve a great expansion of the number of students being trained.
What comes after may be different. Phase 3 is currently envisaged as a move towards a more long-term sustainable funding model, based on partnerships with other sources of support. This will not least include African governments, whose commitment will be vital to taking the programme forward.
But for now it is bye-bye Benoni, and goodbye from us bloggers.
Linda Nordling, SciDev.Net columnist