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New Afro-German partnership to accelerate progress to achieve SDGs for health


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Juliette Mutheu-Asego
Head of Communication & PR,
The African Academy of Science
Email:       Tel:  +254 20 806 0674

New Afro-German partnership to accelerate progress to achieve SDGs for health

16 October 2018-The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS), the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announce a broad and transformative partnership to provide coordinated global action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health. 

The new partnership ignites innovation in health by leveraging each organization’s unique assets to deliver a range of activities. The first of which will be funding health innovations to improve health and developmental outcomes in Africa:

  • The AAS’s understanding of Africa’s developmental challenges and grant management capabilities has advanced it into Africa’s foremost science grantmaking body. The AAS will leverage this strength to develop a call for proposals, review applications and award and manage grants based on an independent scientific assessment and with strategic input from an executive committee comprising representatives from The AAS, Gates Foundation and BMBF 
  • The BMBF’s strategic priorities for partnership with Africa, which include expanding and intensifying scientific cooperation in the thematic areas of health, societal development and innovation
  • Th broad range of resources that the three partners can provide to grantees to incorporate them in a sustainable, high-quality scientific cooperation structure that strengthens international partnership, engages German innovators, and funds promising innovations to tackle global challenges

The AAS is implementing the partnership through the Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa), a programme  supporting innovations to address Africa’ s health and developmental challenges. GC Africa is one of 15 programmes being implemented through the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), a funding and agenda setting platform of The AAS and the African Union Development Agency (formerly the NEPAD Agency).

“This partnership represents another giant and solid step to catalyse scientific breakthroughs from African scientists, who understand best the local problems and can deliver home grown solutions for developmental and health,” said The AAS Executive Director Prof Nelson Torto.

In addition to funding bold innovations from Africa, the partners will provide mobility grants to selected investigators to travel to Germany to meet potential collaborators in preparation for a second phase that will deepen scientific cooperation between African and German scientists.

Innovation can help achieve gender equality and more Africans to lead healthy lives, thrive and be productive citizens. Some of the transformative innovations funded by The AAS are helping to tackle maternal, neonatal and child health while simple innovations, such as school feeding programmes and provision of sanitary towels in Kenya and Uganda are keeping girls in schools and transforming societies.  

The partners will announce a call for proposals on maternal, neonatal and child health in due course.


About The African Academy of Sciences
The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation. The AAS’s vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science. Our tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through The AAS’ highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes, providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies and implementing key Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges through the agenda setting and funding platform Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in science in Africa (AESA). AESA is an initiative of The AAS and the African Union Development Agency (formerly the NEPAD Agency).

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About Grand Challenges Africa
Grand Challenges Africa is a programme of The AAS that seeks to promote Africa-led scientific innovations to help countries better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by awarding seed and scale-up grants to the continent’s most impressive solutions.

About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Dr Susan Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H Gates, Sr, under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet.