Project Period

April 2022 - November 2024

APHRC, through this Gates Foundation funded initiative, seeks to amplify the role of African researchers in leading and accelerating Research and Development (R&D) efforts, ultimately increasing the adoption and scale of impact-oriented innovations across the continent. The investment prioritizes the establishment of robust platforms that enhance the visibility of African institutions, enabling a research matching ecosystem through the development of a comprehensive directory of research institutions and researchers, showcasing their areas of expertise and research interests. Another priority is to test prototypes of how to create coherent, aligned strategies between government, innovators, research institutes and other partners to drive progress.

Despite the wealth of talent and potential within Africa’s research community, significant barriers hinder high-quality research, including inadequate startup funding. Evidence suggests that less than 10% of BMGF’s funding went to African grantees, with similar funding patterns being recorded for other major global funders. This is in part attributed to a lack of readily available information about African research, researchers, research institutions and their capacity.

To overcome these challenges, we are employing a holistic approach that extends beyond research itself to address the entire ecosystem. By investing in African-led platforms and prioritizing collaboration with governments, we aim to accelerate the pace of change, ultimately creating a resilient R&D ecosystem that fosters innovation and positively impacts lives.

Specifically, our aim is to:

  • Increase the inclusion and effective participation of African universities and research institutes as direct grantees of funders in global health
  • Contribute to strengthening research and innovation ecosystems in continental Africa.

This investment focuses on the following, serving as a harbinger of essential elements required to establish a more resilient R&D ecosystem:

  • Developing a Research Matching Platform using AI and Machine learning that includes a comprehensive database of African researchers and institutions. The research matching platform shall enable real-time information that encourages collaborations between researchers and funders, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders.
  • African-led initiatives aligned with national, sub-national and regional priority research areas. To achieve our goal of transforming the research-to-practice timeline from 17 years to 4 years or less, we are actively cultivating collaborative research agendas with governments and testing different prototypes in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • To assess research readiness of African research institutions, we are building on previous work that evaluated approximately 6,700 universities and research institutions across 54 African countries and have deployed a Readiness Score Tool developed by APHRC in collaboration with key stakeholders to assess research capacity.
  • Grant Management: Using the Good Grant Financial Grant Practices (GFGP) tool we are evaluating research institutions to assess their capability to manage and write grants.
  • Fostering gender equality, inclusivity, and supporting early career researchers to ensure a diverse pipeline of implementation research experts through the establishment of learning, support and networking platforms.
  • Increasing the visibility of African journals through increasing African journal indexing in international platforms such as Google Scholar and Scopus. We are collaborating with journal editors from Africa to establish opportunities and gaps in order to strengthen their capacity in ensuring that they meet requirements set by different journal indexers and databases.

Project Team

  • Catherine Kyobungi
  • Evelyn Gitau
  • Gaye Agesa
  • Kirimi Sindi
  • Daniel Kurui
  • Leah Mwangi
  • Patrick Amboka
  • Hiram Kariuki
  • Sheila Mwero
  • Lisa Omondi

Project Duration

  • Nov 2024

Partners

  • Kano State Government
  • Bayero University Kano
  • WARIMA, SARIMA
  • University of Lagos
  • Ministry of Health, Ethiopia

Funder

  • Gates Foundation
  • Project Funder

PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS

Research Officer

PATRICK AMBOKA

Patrick Amboka is a research officer working on Catalyze Impact…

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Executive Director, APHRC

Catherine Kyobutungi

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi is the Executive Director of the African…

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Director of Programs

Evelyn Gitau

Dr. Evelyn Gitau is the Director of Research Capacity Strengthening.…

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Research officer

Leah Wangari Mwangi – Muchiri

Leah supports the monitoring, learning research and evaluation for training…

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Executive Assistant

Sheila Mwero

Sheila is the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and…

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Program Administrative Assistant

Lisa Omondi

Lisa is a program administrative assistant in the Research Capacity…

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