African-led Consortium to use Big Data for greater health and wellbeing

August 9, 2022

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) has been selected by Wellcome to lead the largest-ever population-based research initiative in Africa.  Provisionally named the ‘African Population Cohort Consortium’ (APCC), the initial 18-month program will inform Africa’s health and well-being by tapping into diverse and robust data and creating a global impact. The co-creation phase aims to bring together African scientists, policymakers, community champions, and other stakeholders, whose participation will be invaluable in implementation. 

This Consortium, geared toward tapping into and galvanizing expertise from the African continent, will be led by Kobus Herbst (South African Population Research Infrastructure Network) and JP Ochieng’-Odero (APHRC). Of all the continents, Africa possesses the greatest diversity and exposures that are critical in informing some of the world’s most pressing issues, including environment and health.

“Our vision is to harness the huge opportunity of population cohorts and diversity in Africa to champion new and innovative multidisciplinary engagement and research for positive impact on the health and wellbeing of communities in Africa,” added JP Ochieng’-Odero.

“The Collaboration for the Establishment of the APCC will work with Wellcome and other international research funders to create a forum on population cohorts that brings together a broad spectrum of African scientists, policymakers, and research communities to co-create and build enthusiasm and support for an inclusive consortium of all longitudinal and population-based research cohorts in Africa,” said Kobus Herbst. 

“We are honored to lead this trailblazing consortium that will harness data across the African continent,” said Evelyn Gitau, Interim Director of Research, APHRC. “Data generated by population cohorts is key in informing policy development and implementation, and this initiative will enable us to do this collaboratively and inclusively.” 

The APCC collaboration will contribute to the Center’s efforts to contribute to evidence-informed decision-making across the continent and beyond in line with the Center’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. The partnership will provide a platform for long-term collaboration on big data between the research partners and other stakeholders.


The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is a leading Africa-based, African-led, international research institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with a regional office in Dakar, Senegal. Our researchers contribute to the body of evidence about critical issues in population health and wellbeing, impeding Africa’s development to provide strong direction and recommendations to policy- and decision-makers at all levels. APHRC also aims to enhance the use of the evidence by decision-makers for policy and programming at the local, national, and regional levels.

For press inquiries, contact:

Siki Kigongo

Communications Manager, APHRC