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Center for Peace

The grand development challenge in Uganda is to increase incomes among the 70% Ugandans who earn less than UGX4, 000 per day [1]. Increase in income is recognized as the most holistically low-cost and high impact solution to complex global problems like energy insecurity, food insecurity, poor health, or poverty in general [2]. The inspiration for the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)-centric Center comes from three directions. First, from the UCU vision of a research-led “center of excellence in the heart of Africa.” Second, from the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals [3], which are a global development roadmap. Third, from work by research laboratories that is based on human-centered design and translational research to enable the translation of solutions to innovations (or from projects to businesses), in sub-Saharan African [2]. Here, we distinguish a solution from an innovation. A solution becomes an innovation when it is widely adopted, in multiple communities or regions, which is typically an indication of solution/innovation sustainability.

Area of inquiry that leverages current UCU strengths is the intersection of water, energy and food/feed.  This intersection is of greatest interest because it is commonly featured when circular systems are considered in sustainability efforts. Circularity and sustainability are “two sides of the same development coin.” Although circularity is currently popular. It is not a new idea; it is based on nature. “Waste does not occur in nature.

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