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SciDev.Net Examines African Network For Drugs And Diagnosis Innovation

SciDev.Net examines a recent conference in Cape Town, South Africa, where almost “300 researchers and health policymakers from across the continent” came together and approved a 2010-2015 business plan for the the African Network for Drugs and Diagnosis Innovation (ANDI). “ANDI, which held its first meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2008, aims to strengthen health research in Africa by funding networking between scientists, building a sustainable research environment and helping translate research into products, as well as funding research directly,” SciDev.Net reports.

Robert Ridley, director of the WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO-TDR), said that after ANDI is formally set up as an organization, the board will adopt the plan. Solomon Nwaka, of the WHO-TDR, said, “We want the endowment fund to address research and health problems in Africa … Lack of funding and fragmentation of aid has always weakened Africa’s potential in discovering its own drugs through innovative solutions.”

According to Ridley, agencies will directly fund the group and an endowment fund of approximately $600 million will be created. Interest earnings of about $30 million a year from the endowment will be used as additional funds for other activities. The article includes additional information about the group’s funding (Makoni, 10/8).