Nurturing Health Innovation In Africa: 13 Ways To Boost Research

Rachel Banning-Lover | The Guardian | September 3, 2014

What needs to happen to reverse the brain drain and secure funding across the continent? Our panel suggest where to start

Use what’s there: There is significant capacity in Africa that’s not well used. This should be the starting point for new kinds of capacity building. Currently a number of clinical trial centres close down after funded trials end. We need to look at how we can sustain funding for further research after specific projects end.

Work at country level to reverse the brain drain: One continent-wide approach to investing in research in Africa will not suit the needs of every country. In 2009, approximately one third of all African scientists or people with engineering degrees were working and living abroad. We need to reverse brain drain by identifying small research hubs that are working to expand.

See the economic advantages: Governments need to recognise more than just the social benefits of investing in R&D.  Be a safe pair of hands: We have to compete against the north for funding. In addition to having better technical capacity, they have better management systems including accountability so funders naturally are inclined to put their money in “safer” hands...