EDCTP and Africa CDC workshop report on disparities in research funding

03 July 2020

EDCTP and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on gender-related and regional disparities in research and research capacity development. In collaboration with Africa CDC, EDCTP hosted a workshop on this topic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 19-20 November 2019. The selected participants – 97 researchers and key stakeholders from Africa and Europe – discussed practical solutions to address gender-related and regional imbalances in research and research capacity development. The report summarises the presentations and extensive discussions over the two days and presents the recommendations of the participants.


Go to the report

“Striving for gender equity is good for science. Implicit and systemic biases lead to the under-representation of women in academia and scientific endeavour. Addressing this fosters the diversity and inclusiveness that improve the science.”

Professor Catherine Hankins, Deputy Director Science at the Amsterdam Institute of Global Health and Development, and Chair of the EDCTP Scientific Advisory Committee

An analysis of applications of the first and second EDCTP programmes showed geographical and gender-related disparities in the success rates of receiving funding. Central and West Africa contributed the smallest number of applications and received less funding. In Eastern and Southern Africa, there are also countries with little or no participation, such as Angola, Burundi, eSwatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar and Namibia.

“The response to the current COVID-19 pandemic which requires advanced levels of clinical research skills and sites for informing local government policy and practice, highlights the urgent need to address these disparities.”

Prof Moses Bockarie, EDCTP Director International Corporation (Africa) & Head of Africa Office

Since 2003, EDCTP funding has made a major contribution to the development of clinical research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. A growing number of EDCTP fellows and principal investigators is taking up leadership positions in African science.  Many more institutions across sub-Saharan Africa have established or improved facilities and are now capable of conducting clinical research to international standards. However, in important parts of sub-Saharan Africa research capacity development remains an urgent challenge. These capacity gaps must be addressed, regionally and globally.

“It is unacceptable that COVID-19 vaccine development and clinical trials are concentrated in North America, Europe and Asia, and no primary vaccine development takes place in Africa. Africa CDC will strive hard to equitably support vaccine development and clinical trials in African Union Member States.”

Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Africa CDC is a specialised technical institution of the African Union which supports the Member States in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases. For more information, visit the Africa CDC website.