“Science for Africa Foundation is eager to support continent’s scientists”- Programmes Deputy Director

Kuuku Osei-Baidoo
Kuuku Osei-Baidoo
4 Min Read

Deputy Director Programmes of the Science for Africa Foundation, Alphonsus Neba, has indicated that his organization is eager to support African scientists considering Africa’s new generation of scientist’s critical role in shaping and driving health and social science research in Africa.

He made these remarks at the opening ceremony of the 7th annual WACCBIP Research Conference, which was held at its premises at the University of Ghana.

The three-day conference, which was held from 26th to 28th July, provided a valuable opportunity for young scientists trained at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) to connect with world-renowned scientists and industry professionals. The event was themed “Innovative Research for Sustainable Impact”.

In his address, Dr. Neba, also pointed out that the support African scientists receive is based on their fundamental purpose as a foundation, which includes the mobilization of funds.

“This new generation of scientists is to play a major part in shaping and driving a locally relevant health and social science research agenda for Africa, as well as contributing to improving health and well-being and sustainable socioeconomic development on the continent. We support African scientists in addressing African countries facing developmental needs through our core business, which has three components: we convene global research leaders and scientists on the continent to identify areas of need. We also design programmes and provide oversight for the programmes across the continent, and then we mobilize funding to support African scientists throughout the continent.”

He went on to highlight some of the foundation’s primary goals, which include promoting scientific research and encouraging the development of technology that will accelerate the continent’s growth.

“The key objectives of the programme are to produce world-class and globally relevant research for health and socioeconomic advancement on the continent through the strengthening of research, leadership, training, and mentorship. We also aim at building a critical mass of high-caliber scientists on the continent and cultivating a professional environment to manage and support research, build positive research cultures on the continent, and enhance engagement with community, public, and policy stakeholders on the continent”.

Dr. Neba  went on to touch on the subject of balancing fairness with excellence, noting that just a few institutions receive major grants in comparison to many other research institutes on the continent.

“The programmes are Africa-led, and we believe in balancing equity with excellence. Previously, grants or funding decisions for research were based entirely on quality, and as such, a lot of other research institutions and researchers across the continent who do not fall within very strong institutions are unable to compete, and as such, very few institutions on the continent get all the major grants from major funding partners. Therefore, by being creative, we allow strong institutions to partner with other institutions to collaboratively apply for grants. This model is able to ensure that a lot of other institutions on the continent are able to benefit from major grants from funding partners.”

Story by | Kuuku Osei-Baidoo | univers.ug.edu.gh

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