International backing of about $4.5 million will enable the formation of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), planned for June. The Alliance will direct African science programs and manage research focusing on the continent. Much of the research funding in Africa is from international funders, which determine how it is spent. As a result, support for research that would otherwise be a priority in Africa, such as some tropical diseases, is often lacking. AESA aims to manage the grants and reviews of funders’ African programs and to increase involvement from the governments of African countries in the research. Some international funders, such as the Wellcome Trust, have expressed interest in allowing AESA to manage their programs. African scientists agree that the Alliance must have donors from within the continent to be sustainable. Although AESA does not yet have funding from any national governments in Africa, it will receive $500,000 for its establishment from the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Source: Nature

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