African-led Wellcome programmes transition to new science organisation

Core funding for the Science for Africa Foundation will help strengthen Africa’s research ecosystem

A new pan-African science funding body will receive more than £6.5mn in core funding over the next five years from the global health charity, Wellcome.

The Science for Africa (SFA) Foundation is committed to supporting high-quality health research and promoting scientific collaboration across the continent. The funding will enable the SFA Foundation to enhance grant funding capabilities, improve research infrastructure, and expand the number of highly-trained research leaders across Africa.

The new body will initially take on the management of three key African-led Wellcome grants initiatives:

  • H3Africa: An advanced genomic sciences programme to help improve our understanding of the genetic and environmental causes for diseases that are a health burden across Africa.
  • DELTAS Africa: The Developing Excellence in Leadership and Training in Africa initiative has supported African researchers to establish 11 world-leading programmes and train the next generation of talented researchers within the continent.
  • Covid-19 R&D: This programme has helped to adapt the priorities of World Health Organization Covid-19 R&D Blueprint for African settings, including strengthening the pan-African research network for work on Covid-19.

The SFA Foundation will now be responsible for disbursing up to £5mn under these initiatives, with management of these grants recently transferred from the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa at the Academy of Sciences (AESA/AAS).

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the SFA Foundation is currently hosted at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) and is set to publish a detailed strategy in July 2022.

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