Message from the Executive Director

Prof. Charles MgoneAs we come to the end of the first EDCTP programme, which has been extended to 31 December 2015, the 2014 Annual Report covers achievements of the programme over the years since its inception in 2003. These include outcomes of the finished clinical trials and preliminary results, of some that are coming to an end soon, as well as reports of various high-profile capacity development and networking projects. By the end of 2014, the programme had released 65 calls and awarded 254 grants involving researchers from 30 African and 16 European countries. Many of these trials have contributed towards policy and international treatment and prevention guidelines as pointed out in the annual report.

During 2014 a lot of efforts went into preparing ourselves for the second programme commonly known as EDCTP2. This included holding of a series of stakeholder meetings and conducting research landscape analyses that informed the drafting of the EDCTP2 strategic business plan.

The governance of EDCTP was also changed to best fit the equal ownership and partnership model where African participating states were invited to join as full members and participate in policy and decision making with their European counterparts. This required revision of the statutes and change of the legal structure from European Economic Interest Group (EEIG) to international Association under the Dutch law. These efforts culminated with the launch of EDCTP2 on 2 December. It is my sincere belief that this is the beginning of many greater things to come including a future in which Africa and Europe, along with other international partners, will work hand-in-hand to jointly invest in R&D to fight poverty-related and neglected diseases.

None of this would have been realised without the efforts and commitment of many of you who have been associated with EDCTP at one stage or another. However, I would like to extend special thanks to Dr Pascoal Mocumbi who has been our High Representative since the inception of the programme, and Prof. Hannah Akuffo who was the EDCTP General Assembly Chair for the past four years. Both stepped down in 2014. Their support to me personally as well as their selfless contribution to the programme have been very valuable. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to all members of the EDCTP constituents past and present. Special thanks also go to the very hardworking and committed members of the Secretariat who have always made what at first seemed impossible, possible.

Charles S. Mgone
Executive Director