Mapping out R&D Interventions to COVID-19

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The African Union’s Executive Council Decision (EX.CL/Dec.747 (XXII)) established African Scientific Research and Innovation (ASRIC) as a specialized Technical Advisory Body to the African Union with African Union, Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC) as its Secretariat. The ASRIC promotes scientific research and innovation in order to address the challenges of Africa’s socio-economic development. It also mobilizes African research excellence and provides a platform for dialogue among African scientists and serves as a voice of the scientific community in building and sustaining continental research and innovation nexus.

Launching the ASRIC and its Congress in November 2018 was a land mark in the Science, Technology and Innovation impact on Africa’s future and prosperity. The ASRIC Congress is composed of African scientists from all the African National Science Academies, National Research Councils, top Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) Institutes in Africa, Diaspora Scientists and Partners. The Congress decides on the implementation of key science and technology programme and projects in accordance with the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) and the overarching continental framework AU Agenda 2063.

The STISA-2024 is the first of the ten-year incremental phasing strategies to respond to the demand for science, technology and innovation from various impact sectors. One of the six priority areas of STISA-2024 is “Prevention and Control of Diseases”. In light of the unprecedented emergence of the Corona Virus Disease Pandemic (COVID-19) ravaging the world the ASRIC to responded to the challenge several ways including the establishment of the “ASRIC Taskforce on Mapping out R&D Interventions to COVID-19”.

The taskforce is to map out research in the continent and develop an inventory for existing R&D in Africa and the world to guide ASRIC on how best ASRIC can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic utilizing STI while building on existing African resources.
The taskforce is mandated to build an inventory for existing R&D in Africa and the world on the following areas of interventions: Non-pharmaceutical interventions; Rapid Testing; Ventilators; Clinical trials.

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