Grants awarded: Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science Initiative II

Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training, and Science in Africa II (DELTAS Africa II) (2023 to 2026) funds 14 consortia in nine African countries, with partnerships and networks across the globe. Delivered by the Science for Africa Foundation, it has been provided $70M through the joint funding support of Wellcome and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). 

The programme aims to support Africa led world-class scientific research which is locally relevant and improves health across the continent and around the world, whilst developing research leaders and strengthening their institutions.  

Outlined below are descriptions of the 14 consortia of DELTAS II.

Mental Health 

African Leadership for Measuring brain health in children and Adolescents (ALMA)

Consortium Director: Amina Abubakar

Lead Institution: Aga Khan University, Kenya 

ALMA seeks to understand neurobiological mechanisms, case identification, assessment methodology and childhood interventions to maximise long term outcomes in children as they emerge into adults. Research will cover mechanisms of brain development; measurement of brain function and behaviour and will assess interventions to promote child development.

African Mental Health Research Initiative 2.0 (AMARI)

Consortium Director: Dixon Chibanda

Lead Institution: University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe 

AMARI-II seeks to address research questions and interventions that reduce the treatment gap for mental health disorders. AMARI’s cross-cutting themes include youth, gender, ethics, multi-morbidity, suicidal behaviour, COVID19, complex interventions, mental health systems, public engagement, validity and reliability of instruments for assessing mental health needs and outcomes, social determinants of mental health, and the effects of COVID-19 and other diseases on mental health.

Infectious Diseases 

Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases Research Capacity Development in West and Central Africa (MARCAD)

Consortium Director: Oumar Gaye

Lead Institution: Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal

MARCAD Plus focusses on three complementary approaches for malaria control – chemoprevention, vector control and surveillance – with special attention to potential synergies for the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), within the new global context where climate change and the current Covid-19 pandemic increases the challenges faced by National Control Programs in Africa.

Developing Excellence in Leadership and Genomics Training for Malaria Elimination and Anti-Microbial Resistance control in Africa (DELGEME)

Consortium Director: Abdoulaye Djimde 

Lead Institution: University of Science Technical and Technology of Bamako, Mali 

DELGEME Plus will apply genomics, epidemiology and informatics to understand the dynamics of transmission and the mechanisms and response to chemotherapeutic interventions focusing on malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS, and bacterial infections in animal health and production.

Sub-Saharan Africa Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE)

Consortium Director: Thumbi Ndung’u 

Lead Institution: The Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), University of KwaZulu, South Africa 

SANTHE is a multidisciplinary consortium which focuses on the challenges linked to HIV and TB, associated morbidities and emerging pathogens including SARS-CoV-2. This includes strengthening research platforms in virology, immunology, molecular biology, and genetics to understand the complex interaction between the host and pathogen.

African Leishmaniases Consortium for developing a paradigm for eliminating neglected diseases in Africa (ALC)

Consortium Director: Ikram Guizani 

Lead Institution: Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia 

ALC will translate advances in the sciences, including genomics, to support diagnosis, patient management and vector control, and to engage strategic research and think tanks to accelerate use of evidence to contribute policy for control and elimination of leishmaniases.

Climate and Health 

Cascading Climate and Health Risks in Cities (CASCADE)

Consortium Director: Bruce Hewitson 

Lead Institution: Climate System Analysis Group, University of Cape Town, South Africa 

CASCADE aims to advance Africa’s response to urban climate and health risks through innovative research across natural and social sciences to build rich inter-disciplinary evidence; and transdisciplinary research engagement that acknowledges the complexity of urban health challenges. The consortium will facilitate the learning beyond the disciplines while building trusting and sustained relationships between scientists and policy makers.

Critical Zones Africa South & East (CzASE)

Consortium Director: Lesley Green 

Lead Institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa 

CzASE will study the conditions of habitability in the critical zone (CZ) – six sites along Africa’s Eastern edge – to propose governance strategies that partner with ecological processes and communities to avert climate catastrophes and strengthen African approaches to environmentalism in global climate negotiations. The studies will account for cascading societal challenges and risks arising from changes in the critical zones.

Discovery Research 

West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP)

Consortium Director: Gordon Awandare 

Lead Institution: University of Ghana, Ghana 

WACCBIP contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) for good health and wellbeing by providing high quality training and cutting-edge discovery research on the mechanisms of infectious diseases (IDs) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA)

Consortium Director: Catherine Kyobutungi 

Lead Institution: African Population & Health Research Centre, Kenya 

CARTA expands research hubs that will address the complexity of health issues, including the social, environmental, economic and political determinants of health and health systems with a multidisciplinary perspective. Ultimately, this research will address questions central to Africa’s intractable health challenges.

Research and Excellence in African Capacity to Control and Treat Cancer (REACCT-CAN)

Consortium Director: Adamu Addisie 

Lead Institution: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia 

REACCT-CAN, which seeks to strengthen African institutions and networks in cancer research to generate collaborative Africa-led, African-relevant multidisciplinary evidence in oncology and cancer sciences for Africa. International research collaborations will provide expertise spanning cancer registration, epidemiology, etiology and genetics, and implementation research.

Sub-Saharan Africa Consortium for Advanced Biostatistics training (SSACAB)

Consortium Director: Tobias Chirwa  

Lead Institution: University of Witwatersrand, South Africa 

SSACAB, which will build biostatistical research excellence in Sub-Saharan Africa to  support policy development to improve population health. It will contribute relevant policy advice in communicable and noncommunicable disease, such as HIV, TB, malaria and COVID-19, and mental health and Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health.

Afrique One – Research Excellence for African Challenges in Health (Afrique One-REACH)

Consortium Director: Bassirou Bonfoh 

Lead Institution: Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire (CSRS) 

This consortium will use existing animal, human and environmental data for modelling to inform public health and to reinforce the online One Health curricula in schools of public health, veterinary science, wildlife, ecology, social anthropology and economics.

Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL)

Consortium Director: Samson Kinyanjui 

Lead Institution: KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP), Kilifi, Kenya 

IDeAL, is investigating causes of childhood and adult morbidity and mortality in Africa. The multi-disciplinary, multi-disease consortium focuses on exploitation of the data generated by its consortium partners over time.