Funding for capacity-building initiatives is renewed ahead of the University's second annual Cambridge-Africa Day.


Cambridge is the go-to institution to help build capacity for African researchers working in Africa.

Professor David Dunne

The start of the 2015-2016 academic year has brought good news for the team of researchers and coordinators involved in the university-wide Cambridge-Africa Programme.

Over the past few weeks, funders of some of the Programme’s flagship initiatives to enhance African research capacity through mentorship and collaboration have pledged their continuing support, ensuring the continuity of efforts to develop capacity and leadership in African research.

The Carnegie Corporation of New York recently approved a renewal grant of US$1M for the Cambridge-Africa Partnership for Research Excellence (CAPREx). Over the next three years, the grant will fund 24 fellowships for early and mid-career scholars from the University of Ghana, Legon and Makerere University, Kampala. The fellowships will allow researchers, in all fields, to spend time at the University of Cambridge and contribute to the promotion of research excellence in their home institutions.

The CAPREx initiative was originally set up in 2012 with a US$1.2M gift from the Carnegie Corporation, and has since supported 30 postdoctoral fellowships with another 10 funded by the Newton Trust. An addiotional 12 fellowships for research administrators have also been supported.

Earlier this year, the Wellcome Trust and the Department for International Development (DfID) announced that, as part of the Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science (DELTAS) Initiative, which will award £46M to encourage the creation of world-class research environments at African universities, they are renewing their support for MUII (now called MUII+), [P1] a capacity-building collaboration between Makerere University, the Uganda Virus Research Institute, LSHTM and Cambridge. As part of the DELTAS initiative, MUII+ will receive £4.6M over five years.

The DELTAS initiative also awarded £5.1M to the University of Ghana’s West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), in support of research projects involving the University of Cambridge’s Prof Mark Carrington.

This news comes in the wake of the announcement, over the summer, of a major gift of £4M over 10 years, by the ALBORADA Trust, to support Cambridge researchers who wish to initiate or enhance research projects in all disciplines involving partners at sub-Saharan African universities or research institutions.

“These announcements reaffirm what we’ve known for some time,” said Professor David Dunne, Director of the Cambridge-Africa Programme: “That Cambridge is the go-to institution to help build capacity for African researchers working in Africa, on African priorities. Our funders and sponsors have acknowledged this, and we are very grateful to them for that.”




Cambridge-Africa Day 2015

  • Keynote Speakers: Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz (Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge) and Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa (Vice Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda)
  • Date:  23rd October 2015
  • Venue: St John's College (Palmerston Room, Fisher Building) in Cambridge
  • There will be a wide range of short presentations about Cambridge's involvement in research capacity building in African institutions, and the numerous mutually-beneficial collaborative research and development projects that Cambridge and African researchers and students are involved in.

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