Africa 2020 R&D capacity building

GSK’s Africa 2020 strategy includes a range of R&D capacity building partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa.

Summary  

  • What: GSK’s Africa 2020 strategy comprises a series of investments in sub-Saharan Africa to build local capacities related to access to medicine.
  • Objective: The strategy includes extensive collaborations with academic institutions across Africa to build R&D capacity, through the company’s Investment in Academia initiative and the Africa NCD Open Lab.
  • Example: Notably, the NCD Open Lab has partnered with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to identify capacity building gaps and opportunities to support non-communicable disease (NCD) research in Africa.
  • Details: GSK has committed funding to its Africa 2020 strategy for five years from 2014.

GSK’s Investment in Academia project trains scientists from Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Ghana in analytical techniques.

Looking closer

GSK’s Africa 2020 strategy, announced in March 2014, comprises a series of investments in sub-Saharan Africa to build local capacities related to access to medicine. This includes extensive collaborations with academic institutions across Africa. For example, through the Investment in Academia initiative, GSK partners with African universities to help build skills in science, engineering, business and public health. The Africa NCD Open Lab also supports UK-based GSK scientists to collaborate with research and scientific centres in Africa, aiming to increase understanding of NCDs affecting Africa. Through the Africa 2020 strategy, GSK has committed funding of GBP 130 mn for five years from 2014.

Notably, the NCD Open Lab has worked in partnership with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s Capacity Research Unit (LSTM/CRU) to independently assess the existing and potential capacity of key institutions in Africa to undertake research into NCDs, through an online survey and site visits. This project aims to identify capacity building gaps and opportunities for the Open Lab to target in its support of NCD research in Africa. The partnership with LSTM/CRU ran from 2015 to 2016.

GSK’s organised and large-scale R&D capacity building programme, under the Africa 2020 strategy, is innovative compared to the activities of peers measured in the Access to Medicine Index 2016. In particular, the partnership with LSTM/CRU is also innovative as a comprehensive and evidence-based approach for a pharmaceutical company to understand local skills gaps and capacity building needs, that will guide its future activities.

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