EDCTP at EU-AU Summit

16 Feb 2022 9:00 CET - 16 Feb 2022 11:00 CET
Type of event International meeting

EDCTP-ECRIN virtual side event at AERAP Science at the EU-AU Summit:


Partnering for the development of sustainable clinical research infrastructures and a skilled workforce in Africa


When:   16 February 2022, 9:00-11:00 CET
Where:  Virtual


This session on Partnering for the development of sustainable clinical research infrastructures and a skilled workforce in Africa, co-chaired by EDCTP and the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), brings together key global health actors to collectively discuss the next steps towards the comprehensive mobilisation of all the stakeholders necessary for building sustainable clinical research infrastructure, skills development, and strengthening of institutions for the development and uptake of safe and effective R&I products in Africa. A set of recommendations on clinical trial infrastructure and capacity building in Africa arising from a session hosted by ECRIN and EDCTP on 17 June 2021 at the Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit will also be further discussed.


Draft agenda


Marcel Tanner, High Representative (Europe), EDCTP
Leonardo Simão, High Representative (Africa), EDCTP



Welcome and introduction from the co-Chairs



EDCTP: a global partnership for investing in people, skills and research infrastructure for infectious diseases research and innovation in Africa

Michael Makanga, Executive Director, EDCTP (the Netherlands)



Infrastructure for multinational cooperation in clinical research: ECRIN and the CRIGH initiative

Jacques Demotes, Director General, ECRIN (France)



Policy roundtable on EU-AU research and innovation cooperation for the development of sustainable clinical research infrastructures and a skilled workforce in Africa

Confirmed panellists to date:

  • Barbara Kerstiëns, Head of Unit “Combatting Diseases” within the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission
  • Raji Tajudeen, Head, Division of Public Health Institutes and Research, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Ethiopia)
  • Veronika von Messling, Director-General for Life Sciences, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany)
  • Dr Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director-General (DDG) for Technology Innovation; Department of Science and Innovation (South Africa)
  • Martina Hirayama, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation (Switzerland)
  • Amadou Gallo Diop, Director-General for Research and Innovation, Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (Senegal)
  • Rhoda Wanyenze, Professor and Dean, School of Public Health College of Health Sciences, Makerere University (Uganda)
  • Maria da Graça Carvalho, Member of the European Parliament (Portugal).



Audience Q&A and discussion



Wrap-up and closing remarks




Health research and innovation (R&I) are fundamental for health – one of the major determinants of economic growth and poverty reduction, and a centrepiece in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The COVID-19 crisis underscored once again the vital importance of global health research preparedness and response. Accelerated basic and clinical research carried out in real-time by consolidated infrastructures provided prevention and therapeutic tools within unprecedented timelines. Despite record achievements, access remains a key issue to ensure the provision of the standard of care globally. Gaps in cross-border ethical and regulatory harmonization, quality sample and data collection, data sharing and repurposing mechanisms remain to be addressed in order to enable multinational clinical research capacities in Africa.


Establishing a robust clinical research infrastructure coupled with scientific excellence and leadership is a key development step to addressing health challenges on the continent. Governments should capitalize on the momentum from the response to COVID-19 to coordinate efforts by all stakeholders, including private actors as well as development banks, and provide sustainable governance and funding mechanisms for tackling global health challenges.



More information

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-17 February. The purpose of the Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together. For more information please visit the website for the Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Summit