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Training the next generation of African scientific leaders in global health
Author: Media Statement - African Academy of Science
Published: 26/06/2023

​The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has partnered with the US National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen African scientific leadership and advance health and development goals on the continent.

Stellenbosch University's Dr Carine Kunsevi Kilola is one of 10 outstanding early-career scientists from nine African countries to have been awarded four-year fellowships that will build their capacity to conduct cutting-edge research in global health. The fellowships will be awarded through the African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI) programme, which is implemented by the African Academy of Sciences in partnership with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The APTI programme was established in 2019 to strengthen research capacity in African countries and develop ongoing scientific partnerships. APTI Fellows are trained and supported to become scientific leaders who can advocate for increased research and innovation projects in Africa. This is done through four-year postdoctoral fellowships where APTI Fellows join various laboratories of the NIH Institutes or Centres for two years before returning to their home institutions in Africa for another two years of programme support. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's support to the postdoctoral fellows includes seed funding for their research upon their return to their home institution.

Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, Executive Director at the African Academy of Sciences, says “Investing in early-career scientists is a vital ingredient in the transformation of Africa into a knowledge-based and technology-led continent. The AAS is committed to facilitating research and innovation exchanges to enhance African research leadership to transform lives in the continent and deliver the 'Africa We Want'."

This third cohort of the APTI Fellows (APTI 3) - five women and five men - will assume their positions in NIH host labs in October 2023. Their research activities will focus on specific global health research priority areas including human immunobiology, microbiome research, drug discovery, genomics, HIV, malaria, maternal, neonatal and child health.

“This joint effort brings outstanding early-career African researchers to NIH and strengthens our research partnerships and research capacity in Africa over the long run," said Dr Peter Kilmarx, acting director of the Fogarty International Center and acting associate director for International Research at NIH. “We're thrilled to welcome these 10 new exceptional scientists with diverse research interests."

The APTI 3 Fellows represent the best research talent on the continent, competitively selected from 296 applicants. The 10 new fellows join two other active cohorts whose details are available on the APTI Programme webpage.


Cohort 3: African Postdoctoral Training Initiative Fellows (2023)

  • Fellow: Carine Kunsevi Kilola
    Home institution: Stellenbosch University
    Country: South Africa
    Research area: Maternal and child health
  • Fellow: Alphonsus Ugwu
    Home institution: Redeemer's University
    Country: Nigeria
    Research area: Human immunobiology for surveillance
  • Fellow: Amadou Niangaly
    Home institution: University of Sciences, Techniques and Technology of Bamako
    Country: Mali
    Research area: Malaria monoclonal antibodies
  • ​Fellow: Daniel Amoako-Sakyi
    Home institution: University of Cape Coast
    Country: Ghana
    Research area: Microbiome and immune responses in children
  • ​Fellow: Diana Marangu
    Home institution: University of Nairobi
    Country: Kenya
    Research area: Respiratory health in children
  • Fellow: Kaelo Seatla
    Home institution: Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership
    Country: Botswana
    Research area: HIV genomics
  • Fellow: Lobe Maloba
    Home institution: University of Buea
    Country: Cameroon
    Research area: Drug discovery
  • Fellow: Rita Boateng
    Home institution: Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
    Country: Ghana
    Research area: Malaria mol surveillance / antimalarial resistance
  • Fellow: Vinie Kouamou
    Home institution: Charles River Medical Group
    Country: Zimbabwe
    Research area: HIV vaccine development / cure​
  • Fellow: Yaovi Hounmanou
    ​Home institution: University of Abomey-Calavi
    Country: Benin
    Research area: Genomics for surveillance

Caption: Dr Carine Kunsevi Kilola