The Medical Research Foundation recognises the need for world-leading African health researchers in order to improve human health in Africa. Africa shoulders a crippling share of the world’s disease burden and this is holding back the continent’s economic development. Africa is showing that economic progress is possible but that progress demands better health. Better health needs better African-led health research and better translation of that research into healthcare policy and practice. For more than 5 years, the Medical Research Foundation has been contributing to the training of the next generation of African research leaders in the Gambia, where world class health research has been conducted for over 50 years. Whilst our funding is having a big impact on the future of health research in this country, we have always hoped that we could do more. It has been our good fortune to be approached recently by a leading African researcher with a vision to create opportunities for emerging health researchers across the whole of sub-Saharan African. We are persuaded by Professor Tumani Corrah’s ambitious plans and jointly we have set up a new charity, the Africa Research Excellence Fund, to train emerging excellent African health researchers.
AREF have recently launched the third call for their Research Development Fellowships for 2017.