Africa COVID-19 rapid fund projects announced

Scientist working in a lab

A total of 80 projects across 17 African countries have been selected for funding under the COVID-19 Africa rapid grant fund.

The projects will look at improving treatments, diagnostics and prevention of COVID-19 as well as bolstering science communication across the continent.

Dr Molapo Qhobela, Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation said:

Knowledge gained from scientific enquiry has a vital role to play in transforming societies by encouraging critical conversations and developing responsible and engaged citizens.

For the African continent to thrive, knowledge creation and sharing must be at the heart of our efforts to transform and respond to the challenges facing our society.

Professor Andrew Thompson, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) international champion, said:

Countries across the globe are experiencing the devastating impacts of COVID-19 in different ways. These projects will help ensure that African researchers are supported and enabled to investigate the local contexts and repercussions of COVID-19 and find a range of solutions to tackle them to save lives and livelihoods.

This research will not only be crucial within individual African countries, but also globally, feeding into international efforts to overcome COVID-19 and helping to make us all more resilient in the future.

Funded projects

Projects include:

  • looking at genetic and immunologic factors associated with the severity of COVID-19 in different demographic groups
  • exploring lessons learnt from similar infectious disease outbreaks
  • assessing mental health services available during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • exploring the role and effectiveness of the media in the dissemination of information and misinformation and methods to alleviate the fear generated by misinformation.

Further information

This multinational fund, launched in May 2020, is supported by:

  • International Development Research Centre, Canada
  • Fonds de Recherche du Québec (International Development Cooperation Agency), Sweden
  • Department for International Development, UK
  • Science Granting Councils Initiative, Sub-Saharan Africa.

UKRI’s contribution is through the Newton Fund.

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