Currently, 30 countries are members of the EDCTP Association: 14 European and 16 African Participating States. Each Participating State contributes to the EDCTP governance and is equally involved in planning, decision-making and shaping the policies and agenda of the programme.
Additionally, EDCTP has supported new partnerships that aim to transcend established historical links and overcome language barriers, collaborations uniting Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Ninth EDCTP Forum was held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 17-21 September 2018. The conference was hosted by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
The Forum theme was ‘Clinical research and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa: the impact of North-South partnerships.’
The Forum received 550 participants from 51 countries. The programme included 5 plenary presentations by research leaders, policy-makers and a patient representative. There were 9 symposia, 45 oral presentations in parallel sessions, 74 electronic poster presentations and 3 workshops. Abstracts of the parallel sessions and the poster presentations have been published in a supplement to BMJ Global Health in April 2019.
Ninth EDCTP Forum 2018
Ms Flavia Namuwaya, HIV Advocate (Uganda), talks about the challenges of growing up HIV-positive in Africa at the opening ceremony of the Ninth EDCTP Forum.
Participants of a plenary session on moving forward and consolidating gains for an EDCTP successor programme.
Networking and active discussion took place at the Forum's exhibition area.
Dr Eusébio Macete, Director of the Health Research Centre Manhiça and representative of Mozambique at the EDCTP General Assembly, gives the closing speech at the Ninth EDCTP Forun.
Mr Pierre Hugo of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV, Switzerland) presentes the Severe Malaria Observatory - a knowledge-sharing platform on severe malaria.
Ninth EDCTP Forum in numbers
Through their membership of the EDCTP Association African countries are co-governing the programme. This membership currently comprises 16 African countries (and with Angola as an aspirant member). By end of 2018 Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Niger and Uganda had contributed as members a total of €1.21 million through Participating State Initiatives (PSIAs). There were no cash contributions from African countries in 2018, but South Africa committed €103,736 to directly support successful malaria proposals. This amount will be incurred after 2018.
Many research institution (176) in sub-Saharan Africa participate in EDCTP2-funded projects. As of 31 December 2018, the number of African countries involved had risen to 35; this was 30 under EDCTP1. All African EDCTP member countries are included except for Niger. As the Abdou Moumouni University in Niger is involved in a project currently under grant agreement preparation, the number of countries is expected to rise to 36.
In 2018, EDCTP and WHO-AFRO jointly initiated a project to survey National Health Research Systems (NHRS). The objective of the project was to support EDCTP’s African Participating States to assess and strengthen their health research systems. Preliminary results were presented in Dakar, Senegal, during the 68th session of the WHO AFRO Regional Committee meeting (30 August 2018) and at the Ninth EDCTP Forum (17 September 2018). The survey was completed in October 2018.
EDCTP grant value allocation
Photo: (From left to right) Professor Stanley Okolo, Hon. Prof. Dr João Leopoldoda Costa, Cécile Tassin-Pelzer, and Dr Joseph Caboré
The participation of countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the EDCTP programme takes place at various levels: in the governance, through research collaboration, or by co-investment in research capacity development.
Saharan African countries
By end of 2018, EDCTP grant expenditure in African countries was 60% of total expenditure of EUR 311 million. South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Kenya are the top recipients in terms of grant value, with nearly 20% of the total EDCTP grant value allocated to sub-Saharan Africa having been invested in South-Africa.
€186.48 M (60%)
€124.85 M (40%)
In efforts to coordinate and pool resources of European Participating States, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom collaborated to support a Joint WHO-AFRO/TDR/EDCTP Small Grants Scheme for implementation research on infectious diseases of poverty. The small grants scheme aimed to facilitate collaboration between health research and health professionals in national disease control programmes. The 2018 call resulted in the selection and funding of 30 projects conducted by sub-Saharan African researchers.
The total cash amount provided by 8 of the 14 European Participating States to the programme rose to €30.29 million, more than double the amount contributed between 2014 and 2017 (€12.51 million). Based on costs incurred, the United Kingdom contributed the largest amount (€21.16 million). Germany and Sweden followed with €4.51 million and €3.82 million, respectively. The steep rise in 2018 was due to grant agreements concluded for projects which received also funding from Participating States. In 2018 alone, European Participating States provided €17.78 million via EDCTP as well as €132.21 million in-kind through PSIAs.
France, Portugal and Spain used as examples of European-African collaboration.
Photo: DREAMM project staff, Malawi
EDCTP also aims to promote financial integration of the activities of Participating States. An approximate measure of success is the proportion of the funding provided by European Participating States that is directly managed by EDCTP.
EDCTP’s main instrument to establish co-funded activities are the strategic RIA and CSA grant schemes. These are expected to secure €295 million in funding directly to projects. In addition, partnership building has been focused on leveraging third-party resources, mainly through jointly funded calls for proposals. To date, third parties contributed €6.89 million to the EDCTP programme, 90% of which was dedicated to joint or coordinated calls.
The following collaboration agreements were concluded:
- In 2018, a second joint call for proposals was launched with the Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) to support Preparatory Fellowships.
- The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation agreed to make the foundation’s premises in Lisbon available as the venue of the Ninth EDCTP Forum (September 2018) and support participation of researchers from Portuguese-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Other agreements will result in co-funding after 2018:
- The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) agreed in principle to support clinical research on Lassa virus. A joint EDCTP-CEPI call for proposals on vaccines against Lassa virus is planned for 2019.
- The Science, Research and Evidence Directorate (UK Department of Health and Social Care) and EDCTP signed a research partnership agreement to facilitate the joint funding of clinical research and capacity development for poverty-related infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
Novartis agreed in principle to support EDCTP Career Development Fellowships to conduct research on the interaction between poverty-related infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases in the field of maternal and child health.
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Presidents Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI Inc.)
Third-party funding in joint initiatives with EDCTP
Photo: Afri-KA-DIA project staff member, Sudan
Top 10 third-party funding in EDCTP grants
Fundación Mundo Sano
African Research Excellence Fund (AREF)
GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development Limited
Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI)
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The 2016 CSA call for proposals to support ‘Capacity for health systems/services optimisation in cooperation with development assistance’ involved development assistance partners. From this call, three consortia were formed (implementation in 2018). Two of the funded projects receive cash funding directly from development cooperation partners Sida (Sweden) and USAID (USA). Moreover, EDCTP strives to engage the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission and will continue to do so in 2019.
With the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)- which in 2018 transitioned into the Africa Union Development Agency – there is long-standing engagement. Joint activity included EDCTP involvement in the drafting of the Health Research and Innovation Strategy for Africa, a final draft of which is now under review for approval by the Assembly of Heads of State.
As part of its strategy to strengthen medical products regulatory capacity, NEPAD’s African Medicine Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH) programme established the AMRH Partnership Platform (APP). EDCTP became an official member of the APP platform in 2018. The platform aims to serve as a coordination mechanism for the regulatory systems strengthening and harmonisation agenda in sub-Saharan Africa.
The collaboration with WHO Regional Office for Africa also continued. WHO-AFRO has an observer position in the EDCTP Strategic Advisory Committee and General Assembly. EDCTP participates in the annual meetings of the African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development (AACHRD) of WHO-AFRO.
Photo: MTBVAC-Newborns project staff member, South Africa
Photo: Afri-KA-DIA project staff member, Sudan