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19 October 2017
Alliance for Excellence in the Sciences in Africa Print
Thursday, 12 March 2015 17:05

The Alliance for Excellence in the Sciences in Africa (AESA) platform is a partnership of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, and with support from Wellcome Trust UK, UKAid, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

African leaders have endorsed an African Academy of Sciences’ proposal to establish an African wide funding platform. This pan-African platform, set up by AAS and the NEPAD Agency, will initially focus on health research, and later expand to other areas such as food and nutrition, energy, and environment. The AESA platform will identify challenges that hinder rapid scientific advancement in Africa, run open calls for proposals with transparent review processes, actively manage grants and evaluate and measure the impact of development funding.

At the 24th Summit Meeting in January African leaders called on Member States, regional and global partners as well as private foundations to support the Alliance in order to strengthen health research and innovation in Africa.

 

“The AESA platform will identify challenges that hinder rapid scientific advancement in Africa, run open calls for proposals with a transparent review processes, actively manage grants and evaluate and measure the impact of such investments”

 

African focus

The platform will be Africa-led, African-centred and Africa-specific in its agenda for strategic research and development, and will forge strong alliances globally with organizations that have similarly aligned objectives and interests. It will capitalise on increasing African commitments to science and technology as highlighted in the Declaration of African Head of States (2007), the Algiers Declaration (2008), the Bamako Call for Action (2008) and in the African Union (AU)’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024. As emphasised by H.E. Dr Martial De-Paul Ikounga, Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST) at the AU, “STISA was developed as a multi-purpose advocacy strategy for mainstreaming innovation in the priority areas of the African Union of which health and wellbeing are part. Mobilistion of domestic excellence and financial resources and leveraging external support ar vital for the successful implementation of STISA 2024”.

 

“The platform will be Africa-led, African-centred and Africa-specific in its agenda for strategic research and development”

 

Research Capacity and Leadership

Recognizing that more than 60% of the continent’s population is youthful, the platform will develop youth-centred programs such as early and mid-career fellowships to inspire young people and engage them to contribute intellectually and practically too critical areas of STI for Africa’s development. It will also support the long-term development of research leadership, scientific excellence and innovation which impacts on global health and development.

You can see the Call for Applications here

The AESA platform will be hosted by the AAS at its Nairobi headquarters, and will be formally launched at a side event at the next AU Summit, to be held in South Africa in June 2015.


Alison Bullen, DRUSSA website content manager, OSD Alison.bullen@drussa.net

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