The Africa Health Strategy (2016-2030) adopted in line with the AU Agenda 2063 and SDGs recognises the importance of investment in research and innovation for tackling the challenges that the African continent is grappled with. The AU Specialised Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control (STCHPDC) mandated the African Union Development Agency in collaboration with other interested partners to facilitate the integration of research and innovation in the updated AHS strategy 2016-2030. A need for strengthening scientific research and innovation in the health delivery systems of the continent was identified. It’s therefore in-line with the aforementioned background and mandate that the AUDA-NEPAD in collaboration with AU Commission and various stakeholders undertook to develop the Health Research and Innovation Strategy for Africa (HRISA). This strategy is a guide to Member States and RECs on priorities for agenda setting in health research and innovation. The strategy also serves as a framework for stakeholder alignment to Africa’s health research and innovation.
A situational analysis conducted indicated a number of gaps in financing health research, health systems, South-South collaborations, human and infrastructure capacity, skills and knowledge management as well as the global recognition of African research and researchers. However, while there are gaps, there are opportunities in integration of emerging technologies, the global interest to strengthening Africa’s health systems, the changing disease profile with an increase in non-communicable diseases(NCDs) as well as innovating financing models that were highlighted, which provide a platform for Member States to build on for implementing the strategy. To address these gaps, key strategic objectives that anchor this strategy were developed.
- To strengthen capacity for sustained, integrated, coordinated and collaborative research, innovation and translation for health;
- To develop and implement sustainable mechanisms for investment and financing in research and innovation for health;
- To generate new knowledge aligned to health goals and targets and advocate for its translation into products, services, policies and practices to improve health;
- To strengthen data-sharing platforms and systems to optimise health delivery
- To advocate for the adoption of emerging technologies and supporting platforms to improve health;
- To strengthen and harmonise regulatory, ethics and intellectual property systems in order to maximise the benefits from African-led research and innovation for Africa and the global community.
- To maximise the benefits from African-led research and innovation for of Africa and the global community through robust research regulatory and intellectual property systems.
These strategic objectives will be addressed through implementation of key priority interventions which are:
- Developing human capacity for sustained health research and innovation
- Developing a conducive environment for research and innovation
- Promoting Sustained Investments and Financing Mechanisms in Research, Development and Innovation for Health
- Supporting the generation of new knowledge and its translation into products, services, policies and practice to improve health
- Generating, warehousing, sharing, and utilizing data to inform and guide decision making in terms of health delivery
- Support the development and adoption of emerging and existing technologies to improve health
- Developing and strengthening regulatory systems, Intellectual property and ethics that leverage the benefits of health research
The implementation of the Health Research and Innovation Strategy for Africa will require a collaborative effort among member states, reginal economic communities, international organisations, private sector and finally development partners. At continental level, the African Union Commission, AUDA-NEPAD and their partners should lead and support the successful adaption, implementation, M&E and funding of the strategy in the respective member states. For the successful implementation of the strategy a costed M&E plan and frame work will accompany this strategy.
This strategy envisions an Africa where African-led Research and innovation drives health and wellbeing.
Its mission is to facilitate coordinated, sustainable and responsive Health research and innovation that will provide effective interventions for health in Africa.