The Africa Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) and the Egyptian Academy of Scientific research and Technology (ASRT) just announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in supporting health innovation in Africa through joint projects, training and fellowships for African scientists. The initiative covers health systems strengthening, research and development for health technologies, manufacturing, and regulatory issues as well as maintenance of research and medical equipment.
“ANDI is a very important initiative for Africa and for the whole world,” stated Prof. Mahmoud Sakr, President of ASRT. “We are committed to a closer collaboration with ANDI including the hosting of ANDI North-African hub in Egypt, and we would like to see more African and international agencies join forces with ANDI to address the health challenges of the continent.”
Under the MoU, ASRT and ANDI shall collaborate in the implementation of agreed African-wide capacity building programmes strengthening health technology related research and development, training initiatives and technology transfer in Africa.
“This initiative is a demonstration of ownership and support for ANDI activities by ASRT,” highlighted Dr Solomon Nwaka, Executive Director of ANDI. “ANDI looks forward to broadening partnerships to advance health innovation in Africa.”
The first programme under this initiative shall start as early as February 2015. It will focus on the evaluation, registration and commercialization of a novel diagnostic kit developed at the Theodor Bilharz Institute (TBRI) in Egypt. The diagnostic kit supports the surveillance, control, and elimination in schistosomiasis infection as well as monitoring of cure. TBRI is an ANDI Centre of Excellence in health innovation dedicated to research on schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease causing high morbidity in several African countries.
“I would like to congratulate ANDI and ASRT for this important initiative”, remarked H.E. Minister of Scientific Research, Prof. Sherif am. Hammad,“this MoU is in line with the strategy of the Ministry of Scientific Research in Egypt regarding collaboration with other African countries.”
The African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) (andi-africa.org) was launched as a concept at Abuja in 2008. ANDI mission is to promote and sustain African-led health innovation to address African public health needs through efficient use of local knowledge, assembly of research networks, and building of capacity to support development. ANDI focuses on addressing Africa’s unmet health needs by harnessing the untapped power of collaboration among African researchers as well as equitable North-South and South-South partnerships, with the vision of creating a sustainable platform for health innovation in Africa. ANDI is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Addis Ababa; it was initially incubated at the World Health Organization (WHO) Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.
The Egyptian Academy of Scientific research and Technology (ASRT) was established by the Presidential Decree No 2405 of September 1971 as being the national body responsible for science and technology in Egypt. The goals of ASRT include, i) appreciation of scientific distinction and its applications through developing and implementing programs of fellowship, merits, grants and wards for distinguished scientists and researchers, and ii) planning and promoting of the scientific research and technological development programs and projects with national characteristics and inter-specialization, including providing financial and material resources necessary for its implementation.