The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) is a funding and agenda setting platform seeking to address Africa’s health and developmental challenges by promoting the development of Africa’s research leadership, scientific excellence and innovation.

AESA is focused on supporting people, places, and programmes, which translates to supporting the best minds in Africa, working in conducive research environments, to implement programmes that produce quality and relevant data, and innovations that have the potential to impact health and developmental challenges on the continent and globally. The platform also regularly evaluates and measures the impact of the investments it and its partners are making in Africa. AESA also functions as a policy and advocacy think tank, setting, aligning and ensuring an Africa-led, Africa-centred, and Africa-relevant science agenda for the continent..


AESA’s guiding philosophy is to support the brightest people in Africa, working in the right places and environments, to implement key programmes that can foster scientific excellence, leadership and innovations that impact health and developmental challenges.

15- 20 years timelines


The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency created AESA with the support of the Wellcome Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). This was to implement Resolution 10 of the Declarations, Decisions and Resolutions from the January 2015 African Union Heads of State Summit endorsing the creation of AESA as a platform to encourage the creation of health innovations for poor communities.

AESA supports initiatives in all areas of science, relevant to Africa and the AAS’s six science, technology and innovation areas of focus. The funding platform does this by:

Future Programmes

In 2017 AESA will launch the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programme to award financial support to rising African research leaders to enable them to live, work and scientifically thrive in Africa. The overall long-term goal of the AESA post-doctoral fellowship schemes is to build a critical mass of African research leaders who are well equipped to independently lead scientific research programmes, including the capacity to engage successfully with funders, governments, policy makers, communities and other stakeholders, and to serve as mentors and supervisors for the next generation of researchers in Africa.


  •  U$100 million to train more than 1,300 scientists including postdoctoral fellowships through DELTAS Africa
  • £ 4.85 million for 100 postmasters and postdoctoral scholarships to African early career researchers to study the impact of climate change through CIRCLE
  •  US$120 million invested in 38 projects in 29 African countries by Grand Challenges partners from 2010 to date and which GC Africa will build upon
  • US$8 million set aside to support African innovations through GC Africa