The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, announced a strategic partnership focused on leveraging high-impact science, technology and innovation (STI) ideas to promote good health and well-being for the greater good of the African continent.
Speaking shortly after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) president of the Academy, Professor Felix Dakora, said: “This partnership builds on our shared vision, mission and interest to catalyse science, technology and innovation (STI) to promote good health and well-being for the greater good of the African continent.”
WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said his organization will support the strengthening of national and regional platforms for innovation, by collaborating with the AAS to create new country-level forums for innovation support. “The intention is to continually infuse new ideas and refresh the pipeline while at the same time building the ecosystem to support innovation,” said Dr. Moeti while speaking on the sidelines of the 2019 Global Grand Challenges Annual Meeting held between October 28 and 30.
Founded in 2003, the Grand Challenges in Global Health otherwise known as Global Grand Challenges is an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), aimed at fostering the use of science, technology, and innovation (STI) to solve key global health and development challenges around the world.
“Through this partnership, the AAS and WHO will work together to promote the wide availability of quality, safe, effective, affordable and sustainable high-impact health interventions that [will] benefit the public. The two parties will work on a process that will accelerate the development of innovations that are high priority and aligned with the WHO Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All, which intends to hasten country progress on the health-related Sustainable Development Goals,” said a statement by the AAS.
The AAS and WHO have since outlined a series of activities they will jointly implement, by leveraging each other’s unique strengths including assessing the needs of African populations so as to develop priority areas for innovation and development; and the strengthening of national and regional platforms to provide governments with strategic information on the most promising innovations from local and global channels, and subsequently advocating to governments the need for adoption of these ideas.
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