A new AAS-Gates-German partnership that spurs health innovations

A new AAS-Gates-German partnership that spurs health innovations


Berlin, Germany | 16 October 2018 – The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS), the
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und
Forschung, (BMBF)) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announce a
transformative partnership to support African investigators to achieve the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) for health. The announcement was made in Berlin, Germany
at the 2018 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting that aims to builds momentum for global
health and development innovation and foster scientific collaboration among international
groups and researchers.

“The partnership with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research represents
another giant and solid step to catalyse breakthroughs from African innovators who
understand best the local problems and can deliver home grown solutions for
developmental and health challenges,” said Felix Dakora, The AAS’ President.

The AAS will implement the partnership through its Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa)
programme that promotes Africa-led innovations to help countries better achieve the SDGs
by awarding seed and scale-up grants to the continent’s most impressive solutions.

GC Africa is one of over 10 AAS programmes being implemented through the funding and
agenda setting platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa
(AESA) an initiative of The AAS and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA
formerly the NEPAD Agency) supported by Wellcome, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
and DFID.

Successful innovations have significantly contributed to improving the health, lives and
productivity of African citizens and transforming the societies they live in. Several
impressive innovations funded by The AAS are tackling 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

The Gates Foundation President, Trevor Mundel said,“The Gates Foundation believes that
African research scientists must be in the lead in developing the new tools required to
tackle Africa’s greatest health challenges. We’re excited about this new partnership and its
potential to deliver on that promise.”

This new The AAS, Gates and German partnership enables Grand Challenges Africa to
continue the ‘Call to Action’ and fund promising innovative projects across the African
continent addressing challenges. The partnership spurs innovation in health by leveraging
each organisation’s unique assets to deliver a range of activities.

The AAS’ understanding of Africa’s developmental challenges along with The
Academy’s capacity to develop and execute programmatic, scientific and
financial management. 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 this partnership.

The BMBF’s strategic priorities for partnership with Africa including expanding and
intensifying scientific cooperation in the thematic areas of health, societal
development and innovation

The Gates Foundation’s support of promising projects and its ability to bring
together key global stakeholders (such as co-funding partners, global research
communities, decision and policy makers) to establish relationships and promote
the Grand Challenges agenda in a bid to solve global health and developmental

The three partners provide a broad range of opportunities including a sustainable,
high-quality scientific cooperation structure that strengthens international
partnership, engagement with innovators, and financial support to promising

“The United Nations has set itself the goal of sustainable development by 2030 to ensure a
healthy life for all people of all ages and in every country. In order to achieve this goal as a
global community, investment in education, research, innovation and international
cooperation is indispensable. That is why we are strengthening research on global health.
We will promote research projects in Africa and thus participate in The African Academy of

Sciences “Grand Challenges Africa” programme. Only specifically and together can health
care be improved, diseases treated and epidemics prevented,” emphasised German
Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek in her opening speech on 16 October in Berlin at
the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting.

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).

Join The AAS on: Facebook.com/AASciences | Twitter @AASciences | and learn more
at www.aasciences.ac.ke

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.

Join Gates Foundation on: Facebook.com/gatesfoundation | Twitter.com/gatesfoundation |
and learn more at www.gatesfoundation.org/

About the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und
Forschung (BMBF)), is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is

headquartered in Bonn, with an office in Berlin. The Ministry provides funding for research
projects and institutions aiming for research excellenceand sets general educational
policy. The BMBF currently has eight departments (as of February 2009).

These are in addition to the central; strategies and policy issues; European and international
cooperation in education and research; vocational training and lifelong learning; science
systems; key technologies – research for innovation; life sciences – research for health; and
provision for the future – research on culture, basic science and sustainability.
Join BMBF on: Facebook.com/bmbf.de | Twitter.com/bmbf_bund | and learn more
at www.bmbf.de


The African Academy of Science
Juliette Mutheu-Asego
Head of Communication & PR,
Nairobi, Kenya
Email:  j.mutheu@aasciences.ac.ke   |    Tel:  +254 20 806 0674

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr Svenja Marx
Press Officer
Berlin, Germany
Email: svenja.marx@bmbf.bund.de     |    Tel.: +49 30 18 57-5051

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