NRF highlights success of meeting of African Covid research partnership initiative

3rd November 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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South Africa’s national research funding, research facilities and human resources development agency, the National Research Foundation (NRF), highlighted on Friday the success of the meeting this week of the Covid-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund (CARGF) reflection and foresight convention. CARGF is a major multilateral research funding partnership, administered by the NRF under the aegis of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Africa’s science community managed to put CARGF together within a short period following the coronavirus outbreak because partnerships were already established,” highlighted NRF CEO Dr Fulufhelo Nelwanondo in his opening address at CARGF. “Partnership is a key word here because it is all about us knowing that we cannot do what we want to do on the continent if we work alone. It’s a question of how we work as a collective team across Africa to ensure that we achieve what probably has not been achieved before.”

CARGF was set up in May 2020, to assist Africa to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has funded 73 projects, at 50 institutions, in 16 countries across the continent.

“There is no one country that has enough resources to solve these emergencies, hence the need for science-based, cross-border partnerships,” pointed out South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) chief director: international resources (Ms) Vinny Pillay. “As I always say, science knows no borders. This is also about how we prepare ourselves as South Africa, Africa and the world for future pandemics.”

CARGF is funded by both African and non-African agencies. Within Africa, funding has come from participating SGCI councils, including the NRF, as well as the DSI. From outside Africa, support has come from Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the Fonds de Recherché du Québec, Sweden’s International Development Cooperation Agency, and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, as well as UK Research and Innovation through the Newton Fund.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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