AQMRG UNILAG and others Collaborate to Address Air Pollution in Africa

Air Quality Monitoring Research Group (AQMRG), University of Lagos in collaboration with AirQo Project, Makerere University, Uganda and UrbanBetter Lab Innovation Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa, have formed a city-focused consortium in order to scale up a participatory and evidence-based approach to addressing air pollution in African cities.

The University of Lagos Air Quality Monitoring Research Group led by Dr. Rose Alani, an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, will coordinate the West African Research Hub. The Hub will consist of researchers, policy makers and advocacy groups from Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon, such as Lagos State Environment Protection Agency; US Mission, Evidence Use in Environmental Policymaking in Nigeria (EUEPiN); U.S Mission Air Quality Technical Working Group (AQTWG), University of Yaoundé, Cameroon,  University of Burundi, Ghana Urban Air Quality Project (GHAir); Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation; Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development (CHSD), University of Lagos; Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMSTI), among many others.  all with a shared vision for cleaner air for cities.

The consortium would advance new approaches to air quality monitoring and modelling while using a hybrid network of Low-cost sensors and reference monitors. A total of 65 locally developed low-cost sensors will be deployed in the cities of Lagos, Bujumbura, Accra, Yaounde and one other city in Uganda, and will be supplemented by existing reference monitors installed in the respective U.S Missions. City-specific Machine Learning and AI models will be deployed to predict and forecast air quality while improving the quality of low-cost data. The collaboration between the three groups will strengthen cross-region air quality management collaborations in African cities.

Air Quality Monitoring Research Group (AQMRG), University of Lagos was established at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, in 2016 with the goal of addressing the issue of unavailability of emission measures and air quality data gaps in Nigeria. The AQMRG brings together a group of experts from various disciplines (Chemistry, computing, physical and biological sciences, geography, environment, information sciences, among others) within the University of Lagos and other Universities both in Nigeria and foreign-based Nigerian researchers.

AirQo is an air quality research initiative based in the College of Computing and Information Sciences, Makerere University, while UrbanBetter, Innovation Africa, University of Pretoria is an Africa-led global initiative with a mission to health-proof the future of cities, was founded by Prof. Tolullah Oni, and incubated within the Innovation Africa platform of the University of Pretoria (UP).

This consortium is an African-led collaboration supported by US Department of State. It emphasizes the need to strengthen regional networks for long-term collaborations. The partnership will co-develop solutions for improving capacity for air quality monitoring and management in five (5) countries in Eastern, Central, and Western Africa, including Uganda, Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria.

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