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The Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training, and Science in Africa (DELTAS Africa) is a long-term, multimillion dollar Initiative launched in 2015-2022 to support collaborative consortia led by Africa-based scientists to amplify Africa-led development of world-class research and scientific leaders on the continent, while strengthening African institutions.

DELTAS Africa seeks to produce researchers who will drive locally relevant and high-quality health research impacting on science, policy and practice in Africa and contributing to improved health and development on the continent.

The first phase, DELTAS Africa I was implemented at the African Academy of Sciences in partnership with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and with the support of Wellcome and the UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). DELTAS Africa I funded 11 consortia in 54 institutions across 24 countries.

The Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) is now implementing the DELTAS Africa Initiative and with continued support from Wellcome and FCDO manages the second phase, DELTAS Africa II, 2023-2026. This second phase kicked off in 2022/23 with 14 consortia in 75 institutions across the globe (57 African institutions and 18 northern partners) and 36 countries across the globe (29 African countries and 7 northern countries).


DELTAS Africa I, was a USD 100 Million investment that was implemented over 2015-202. This Initiative awarded multimillion dollar grants to 11 consortia headed by world class senior researchers from 8 African countries and spanning 54 lead and partner institutions from across West, East and Southern Africa. DELTAS Africa I’s achievements includes strengthened research infrastructure, and training and mentorship of more than 1,500 undergraduate, master’s, PhD, postdoctoral and senior researchers.

DELTAS Africa I focused on transdisplinary research with consortia focusing on: Afrique ONE-ASPIRE – One Health; SSACAB – Biostatistics; AMARI – Mental Health; CARTA+ - Public & Population Health; DELGEME – Genomics & Bioinformatics; IDeAL – Capacity Building; MARCAD – Malaria; MUII Plus – Infectious Diseases; WACCBIP – Malaria; SANTHE – HIV/TB & THRiVE-2 – Capacity Building.


Excellence breeds excellence, the implementation of DELTAS Africa I informed further refinements and improvement of the second phase of DELTAS Africa, particularly the 2018 mid-term assessment report. DELTAS Africa II focuses more on balancing equity and inclusion for example; across the continent by encouraging collaboration amongst networks of researchers that are relatively well-resourced and those who are poorly resourced; improved gender equity and diversity; and multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research including social science and humanities. The inclusion of social sciences seeks to redress the dearth of social science research on the continent and the need for contextually relevant social science and humanities research outputs. These are essential for effective and efficient policy formulation and implementation of African social and public health policy.


Dr Nikiwe Solomon from the University of Cape Town looks through a pair of binoculars during a study site visit to Lake Zeekoevlei. She is part of the
DELTAS Africa II Critical Zones Africa South & East (CzASE) consortium.
PHOTO| SFA Foundation

DELTAS Africa funds consortia aligned to four strategic areas of scientific quality; research leadership; research manage, culture & infrastructure; and scientific citizenship.

The DELTAS Africa Initiative is designed to establish excellent research networks that will recruit, train and mentor a globally competitive critical mass of researchers who will lead locally relevant and high-quality research to influence health science, policy and practice in Africa.

DELTAS Africa II continues to foster intra-Africa collaboration, improve research environments and train researchers to conduct relevant, locally contextualized studies that advance our knowledge on key research and development priority gaps including: discovery, translational, implementation and operational sciences for:

  • Infectious diseases, such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis
  • Neglected tropical diseases and ONE Health
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Mental health and neurosciences
  • Multidisciplinary nexus of health and climate
  • Social sciences and humanities
  • Climate change and planetary health
  • Anti-microbial resistance
  • Accidents, injury, disability and snake bite
  • Clinical research
  • Implementation research, health systems research, public health research

Our Guiding Principles:
  • Long-term horizon: DELTAS Africa acknowledges and is committed to the realities that raising scientific productivity and quality and building a critical mass in leadership is inherently long term.
  • Hub-and-spoke model: All DELTAS Africa Initiatives are led by Initiative Directors based in an African institution, who construct multi-country research and training consortia, using a hub-and-spoke model of Initiative design and delivery which has enabled an increased R&D footprint on the African continent and strengthened south-to-south and intra-African collaborations. The DELTAS Africa model is best imagined as a hub and spoke arrangement in which a lead institution(hub) enters collaboration with other institutions in other countries (spokes) which may be partners or collaborators to jointly apply for large research grants and implement long-term scientific research Initiatives.
  • Research alignment to country and regional needs: DELTAS Africa Initiatives are aligned to country and regional needs, which have been identified through wide stakeholder and community engagement.
  • Diversity and inclusion in consortia leadership and recruitment of trainees: Recruitment of staff and students is tracked to assess gender parity and equity.
  • Balancing excellence with equity in consortia formation and recruitment of trainees: Institutions that are generally recognised as strong or high performing research institutions partner with institutions across countries or regions that are generally perceived as not being strong in research to enable the building of capacity, institutional strengthening and improvement of research environment and productivity that will spread excellence across the continent.
  • Value for Money: DELTAS Africa grantees mainstream value for money principles throughout the Initiative life cycle to ensure effectiveness and efficiency
DELTAS Africa Strategic Areas
  • Enhanced scientific quality: DELTAS Africa produces world-class scientific research that addresses African health and research priorities through scientific discourse and collaborative supervision by promoting collaborations with well-resourced universities, research institutions and think-tanks to strengthen capacity
  • Strengthened research leadership capacities: To strengthen scientific research training and build career pathways for scientific researchers, DELTAS Africa focuses on the tertiary and postgraduate training of science students and professionals along a defined career pathway. Training offered by DELTAS Africa Initiatives is designed to provide individuals at all career stages with the academic support and research facilities they need to develop into world-class researchers
  • Strengthened research systems: To cultivate professional environments to manage and support scientific research. This recognises that developing and supporting research requires that researchers have access to skilled administrative support and adequate resources to compete at a global level; and that creating supportive, sustainable environments is crucial to developing research capacity
  • Enhanced scientific citizenship / societal engagement: Foster mentorship, leadership and equitable collaboration in science, and engagement with public and policy stakeholders. DELTAS Africa recognises that for research to achieve real impact it needs to be communicated to policymakers and the public. Communicating research findings to policymakers will ensure that the findings inform policy. At the same time, public engagement is also key to raise public awareness and interest in science, increase the uptake of new health policies and treatments, and strengthen relationships with local communities.

These four strategic areas are recognised as necessary for strengthening, sustaining, attracting, and retaining talent and excellence in research.

Consortia Director: Prof Amina Abubakar

Consortia Name: African Leadership for Measuring brain health in children and Adolescents (ALMA)

Country : Kenya

Focus Area: Neuroscience

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Understanding early-life brain development within the unique African context creates opportunities for scientific discovery and tailored healthcare. The ALMA integrated neuroscience network proposes to study these strongly interdependent topics within the research-rich environment of its African partners.  The network is co-led by two new African-run research institutes, the AKU’s Institute for Human Development in Nairobi, and the UCT Neuroscience Institute in Cape Town.

 Three important gaps will be addressed to identify the needs of African children and ensure their optimal development: a dearth of locally generated evidence that would inform locally relevant interventions; a lack of a critical mass of trained people to produce required evidence, and the need to exploit our centres of excellence to equip and train neuroscientists across Africa.



University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of Malawi, University of Zambia, University of Oxford (UK), and the Harvard School of Public Health (USA).

Consortia Director: Prof Ikram Guizani

Consortia Name: African Leishmaniases Consortium for developing a paradigm for eliminating neglected diseases in Africa (ALC)

Country : Tunisia

Focus Area: Neglected Tropical Diseases - Leishmaniasis

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ALC aims to translate advances in sciences including genomics for novel control and surveillance tools and strategies; to leverage the novel control tools to support diagnosis and patient management, and vector control; and to build interactive disease distribution- and predictive risk- maps for programmatic use; to engage strategic research and Think-Tanks to accelerate use of evidence in policy towards control and elimination of leishmaniases.


University of Sciences, Techniques and Technology of Bamako (Mali), Armauer Hansen Research Institute (Ethiopia), Pasteur Institute of Algeria, Institut Pasteur of Morocco, Ibn Sina University (Sudan), University of Ibadan Research Foundation (Nigeria) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (Spain).

Consortia Director: Prof Dixon Chibanda

Consortia Name: African Mental Health Research Initiative 2.0 (AMARI II)

Country : Zimbabwe

Focus Area: Mental Health

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AMARI-II is a consortium of six African universities dedicated to mental health research capacity building. It will build on the success of AMARI-I by providing fellowships to African mental health scholars with a focus on building excellence in leadership, training and science. AMARI-II seeks to ensure that African scientists become leaders in GMH research, training and implementation aims to shift the centre of gravity in global mental health (GMH). The consortium will be driven by five research areas underpinned by ten cross-cutting themes: youth, gender, ethics, multi-morbidity, suicidal behaviour, COVID-19, complex interventions, mental health systems, climate change and public engagement.   

Three important gaps will be addressed to identify the needs of African children and ensure their optimal development: a dearth of locally generated evidence that would inform locally relevant interventions; a lack of a critical mass of trained people to produce required evidence, and the need to exploit our centres of excellence to equip and train neuroscientists across Africa.


King's College London (UK), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), University of Malawi, University of Zambia, University of Cape Town (South Africa), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK) and the University of Ghana.

Consortia Director: Professor Bassirou Bonfoh

Consortia Name: Afrique One Research Excellence for African Challenges in Health (Afrique One-REACH)

Country : Ivory Coast

Focus Area: One Health

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Afrique One-REACH is addressing the lack of sufficient capacity and data in Africa to develop and implement transdisciplinary approaches to combatting some of the world’s most urgent and challenging health threats arising from interactions among people, animals and the environment, including Endemic and Emerging Zoonoses, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) and nutritional and Non-Communicable Diseases. 

Through transdisciplinary research, REACH will jointly assess, co-design and test health intervention options in close collaboration with practitioners, communities, civil society and policy makers. As a follow up to Afrique One-ASPIRE, we will support a cohort of 50 competitively and equitably selected fellows to be equipped with contemporary and innovative research tools while working in supportive and empowering research environments.  We will work with African and northern partners to develop the next generation of research leaders who can harness the potential of One Health in Africa. 


Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (Ghana), Université de Liège (Belgium), Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania), Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (Tanzania) and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Switzerland).

Consortia Director: Prof Bruce Hewitson

Consortia Name: Cascading Climate and Health Risks in Cities (CASCADE)

Country : South Africa

Focus Area: Climate and Health

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The CASCADE programe strengthens existing networks (e.g., FRACTAL) and builds new partnerships to improve understanding of the interlinkage and, often, cascading nature of climate health risks in African cities through integrating climate and public health sciences with other physical and social sciences to build rich disciplinary evidence. This evidence will be generated through strong engagement with city partners, including city governments, health care and delivery organisations, city agencies responsible for air quality monitoring, disaster risk management, water and sanitation services and others.


Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (Netherlands), University of Ghana, African Population & Health Research Centre (Kenya), Chinhoyi University of Technology (Zimbabwe), International START Secretariat (USA), the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and Makerere University (Uganda).

Consortia Director: Dr Catherine Kyobutungi

Consortia Name: Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa 2021-2025 (CARTA2025)

Country : Kenya

Focus Area: Multi-sectoral Health R&D and Health Systems

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High-quality research capacity is key to addressing the many developmental challenges facing African countries. These challenges include but are not limited to the triple burden of infectious disease, non-communicable disease (NCDs) and injuries; emerging epidemic pathogens; antimicrobial resistance (AMR); over-burdened and dysfunctional health systems; climate change and other social challenges. All these impede human, economic, and social development. CARTA2025 seeks to address inter-related questions of how to promote health, improve health systems and scale up successful interventions using broad multidisciplinary approaches as it strengthens its host institutions, from their human capital to the support systems that are required for a research-conducive environment.


University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), University of Nairobi (Kenya), Makerere University (Uganda), University of Malawi, Ifakara Health Institute (Tanzania), University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and the University of Rwanda.

Consortia Director: Prof Lesley Green

Consortia Name: Critical Zones Africa South & East (CzASE)

Country : South Africa

Focus Area: Climate Change

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All too often, profit-driven climate solutions make people poorer. It naturally follows therefore that global climate solutions are rendered in terms of finance and geopolitical boundaries and can have unintended consequences. For example, commercial resource solutions result in profit to private shareholders rather than building a collectively owned infrastructure. How can research advance an African ecological policy of habitability that builds on local knowledge of how a landscape works and builds a local resource that serves everyone at the lowest possible cost?

CzASE will conduct comparative studies at three sites of about 50x50km in six countries: Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.


Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi), University of Zimbabwe, University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique) and the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa).

Consortia Director: Prof Abdoulaye Djimde

Consortia Name: Developing Excellence in Leadership and Genomics Training for Malaria Elimination and Antimicrobial Resistance control in Africa (DELGEME Plus)

Country : Mali

Focus Area: Malaria Elimination & Antimicrobial Resistance

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DELGEME PLUS will build on the training and capacity development we did in genomics during DELTAS 1 to continue addressing major problems in malaria. We will conduct cutting-edge research to understand how the microbes that cause malaria and other diseases become resistant to drugs, how we can prevent the development of this resistance and invent or discover new drugs that will effectively kill the microbes. We will achieve these through training young scientists to become specialists who will produce new knowledge on AMR and through engaging doctors, health officials and communities to improve their behaviour in antimicrobial use.


Universite des Sciences de la Sante (Gabon), Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (Ghana), Kenya Medical Research Institute, Medical Research Council Unit (Gambia), University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

Consortia Director: Prof Samson Kinyanjui

Consortia Name: Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDEAL)

Country : Kenya

Focus Area: Multi-Disciplinary Infectious Diseases Research

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IDEAL’s vision is for African-led research teams to solve African health problems.  To achieve this, we focus on three objectives:  Find solutions to the major causes of childhood and adult morbidity and mortality in Africa, build sustainable research capacity in Africa through the creation of a critical and diverse mass of African researchers who can drive the continent’s research agenda and enhance intra-Africa research collaborations.


Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Epicentre (Niger), Pwani University (Kenya), Strathmore University (Kenya), University of Glasgow (UK) and the University of Oxford (UK).

Consortia Director: Prof Oumar Gaye

Consortia Name: Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases Research Capacity Development in West and Central Africa (MARCAD-Plus)

Country : Senegal

Focus Area: Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases

MARCAD-Plus will build on the successes of MARCAD-1, continuing the successful Masters, PhD and post-doctoral programs by training the next generation of African research leaders in malaria and neglected tropical diseases. The Consortium maintains high-quality research which seeks to eliminate malaria and selected NTDs within the context of climate change, rapid urbanization, increasing population movements and the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Medical Research Council Unit (The Gambia), MRTC/Icermali/ USTTB (Mali), Bandim Health Project (Guinea Bissau), University of Sierra Leone, University of Health and Allied Sciences (Ghana), University of Yaoundé 1 (Cameroon) and the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (Cameroon).

Consortia Director: Prof Adamu Addisie

Consortia Name: Research and Excellence in African Capacity to Control and Treat Cancer (REACCT-CAN)

Country : Ethiopia

Focus Area: Cancer R&D

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REACCT-CAN is dedicated to strengthening African institutions and networks for cancer research and to training a large cohort of African cancer scientists with the mission to generate collaborative African-led, African-relevant multidisciplinary research of international standing in oncology and cancer sciences in Africa. We will provide post-graduate training for 87 young African researchers in cancer prevention and care. Researchers will form teams across institutions to complement their strengths and build international networks.


Cairo University (Egypt), Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Ltd (South Africa), Martin-Luther-University Halle (Saale, Germany), World Health Organization (Switzerland), and the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (Tanzania).

Consortia Director: Prof Tobias Chirwa

Consortia Name: Sub-Saharan Africa Consortium for Advanced Biostatistics training (SSACAB II)

Country : South Africa

Focus Area: Biodata for Population Health

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There is a need to provide solutions to major public health, environmental and health system challenges in Africa through cutting-edge biostatistical methodology and contribute towards achievements of SDG3 ‘Ensure healthy lives and well-being for all’. SSACAB-II will build regional nodes of biostatistics research excellence, effectively collaborating and integrating with other consortia and research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.


University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands), University of Abomey- Calavi (Benin), Kenya Medical Research Institute, South African Medical Research Council, University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), Moi University (Kenya) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK).

Consortia Director: Prof Thumbi Ndungu

Consortia Name: Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE 2.0)

Country : South Africa

Focus Area: HIV & TB Research

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SANTHE is a multidisciplinary consortium of African-led research and capacity strengthening leading locally relevant discovery and policy-impacting science in Africa and globally. Given the widespread roll-out of antiretroviral treatment (ART) and an ageing population of people living with HIV, the long-term use of ART will shape the incidence and management of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa. We believe that to tackle these public health challenges, collaborative, multidisciplinary research that includes the social sciences, clinical research and biomedical sciences is needed. Each partner site brings focused research strengths and needs aligned to SANTHE’s thematic areas of research -- amplifying the effectiveness of the individual research teams.


Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Collaborative Clinical Research Centre (USA), Zambia Emory HIV Research Project, Makerere University (Uganda), KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (Kenya) and the Center of Research for Emerging and Re-Emerging Diseases (CREMER, USA).

Consortia Director: Prof Gordon Awandare

Consortia Name: West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP DELTAS II)

Country : Ghana

Focus Area: Mechanisms of Pathogen Diseases & NCDs

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The unifying goal of the WACCBIP DELTAS II consortium is to use deep research approaches to gain a thorough understanding of the disease mechanisms for some of the major infectious and non-communicable diseases affecting African populations. WACCBIP’s DELTAS II programme seeks to build on its successes by providing high quality training and advanced research on the mechanisms underlying the development of infectious diseases (IDs) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

 WACCBIP has assembled a top-class team of scientists from institutions in Africa, Europe and the United States to conduct high-quality research and training for young African scientists. Our team seeks to address the double threat of IDs and NCDs facing Africa, by providing advanced laboratory-based research and training to build the skills necessary for effective disease surveillance, control of drug resistance, development of new diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines, and characterization of genetic predictors of risk of NCDs.


University of Cambridge (UK), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK), University of Liberia, Francis Crick Institute (UK),  Medical Research Council Unit (The Gambia), University of Lagos (Nigeria), John Hopkins University (USA).