Wellcome Funds Pan-African Research Consortia

The Wellcome Trust is pouring nearly $50 million into bolstering research capacity in Africa. On Thursday, the U.K. biomedical research charity announced seven pan-African research partnerships, involving more than 50 universities and research institutions, as part of a ₤30 million pound ($49.4 million) initiative.

Wellcome launched its African Institutions Initiative in December 2007 but has taken until now to review applications and form the consortia. Each has a different focus, ranging from infectious disease research to “ecosystem and population health” and research capacity development. The consortia, which receive 5-year awards, are all led by institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. They also include partners from 18 different African nations—from Senegal to South Africa—as well as research institutes in Europe, the United States, and Australia.

A major goal is to help African universities become more involved in research on the continent’s most serious health issues, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Such medical research is now often driven by researchers based in the developed world. 

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