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AESA/AAS site visit in CSRS: mutual learning on programme management, African science priorities and research environment

The research consortium Afrique One-African Science Partnership for Intervention Research Excellence (ASPIRE) hosted two representatives of the African Academy of Sciences/Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AAS/AESA) at the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS) from 10th to 14th April 2017 for a site visit.  During this visit, Mr Alphonsus Neba, programme manager, and Mrs Susan Gichoga, grants officer, the two AESA representatives, learned more about the Afrique One-ASPIRE management and achievements and gave some recommendations.

Programme management and African science priorities

The AAS/AESA site visit at CSRS was mainly made up of presentations, discussion and visits. Concerning the presentations, they were focused on the ‘good health’ of Afrique One-ASPIRE in the area of programme and financial management, monitoring and evaluation, public engagement and communication. Then, selected Afrique One-ASPIRE fellows recently recruited, presented their research projects and activities. Their studies are aligned with the Global Health Security Agenda and the African science priorities specifically disease control and elimination for human well being and quality of life. The presentations were followed by discussions and a set of recommendations by the two AESA representatives. Mr Neba and Mrs Gichoga visited Félix Houphouet Boigny University in Abidjan, The Taabo Health and Demographic Surveillance site (HDSS) and the agro-pastoral field school in Bringakro 82h from Abidjan).

Research environment

Prof. Bassirou Bonfoh, Director of the CSRS and Afrique One-ASPIRE, recalled the CSRS history, its management and contributions for science in Africa. He also presented, the difficulties met in terms of research funding, fellows’ registration at universities, the academic supervision issues and the language barriers when francophone African scientists want to apply for a grant.

About AESA

AESA is a funding platform created by the AAS and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency, a technical arm of the African Union, to provide grant support, set the agenda and research priorities for the continent and build a community of African and global partners to promote excellence in science in Africa. AESA’s initial focus is health research but it will encompass others areas of science to promote science-led development. AESA is also currently partnering with the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

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