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Africa lays out plan to boost science economy

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Africa’s latest programme that aims to boost the continent’s science base through investment in early-career researchers has just got off the ground.

Last month, 44 early- to mid-career researchers across 38 African countries were awarded five-year fellowships of up to €500,000 (£425,000) each to start their independent research teams and deliver cutting-edge research. In all €25 million worth of grants are available .

The inaugural African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence (Arise) programme is funded by the EU and implemented by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) with support from the African Union.

‘The Arise pilot programme is focused on kick-starting an ambitious push to strengthen Africa’s science base through a novel instrument to support scientific excellence,’ says Arise programme manager, Obed Ogega . ‘This is a crucial effort towards a more attractive and inclusive continent for bright minds, including the diaspora returning to Africa.’

‘By creating open and direct competition for funding amongst the very best African women and men researchers the Arise pilot programme will reinforce the positive agenda for research in Africa,’ he says.

On average, Africa spends just 0.45% of its GDP on research and development, which is significantly less than the global average of 1.7% and the African Union’s […]

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