Many African scientists move elsewhere to pursue their research as many countries on the continent lack the infrastructure and resources to support local scientists. But, Tom Kariuki, the director of the African Academy of Sciences' Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, says at the Guardian that his organization is working to change that.
"Our vision is to make research an attractive, recognized career option in Africa, creating scientists who stay in the continent and can win their own grants to address local problems," he says.
Kariuki notes that AESA has been working with the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development to develop its resources and capabilities, and is now beginning to strike out on its own.
The grants in its portfolio total $70 million, including one $7 million award that has gone to malaria genetics researcher Abdoulaye Djimdé at University of Bamako to bring sequencing capacity there, Kariuki says.
He adds that investment in basic science and innovation are linked to the establishment of spinouts and large-scale commercial research and development.