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Funders and Supporters

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Our Fellows

About AREF

Without our supporters and funders, we could not continue to nurture the next generation of research leaders in Africa – or strive to improve health and save lives across the continent.

To fund our Academy Programmes, Research Development Fellowships and Seed Funds, we partner with research funders, Trusts and Foundations, institutional donors, selected companies, generous philanthropists and individuals.   

If you would like to support us, we’ll be there every step of the way with ideas. So, join us in supporting the next generation of African Scientific leaders to deliver life-saving health research in Africa – for Africa and the world.  

For advice on how to start your fundraising journey for the Africa Research Excellence Fund email:  

what our supporters say


We must invest in promising young African scientists; they are the innovators and leaders that will transform our continent’s health. The Africa Research Excellence Fund is Africa-based, African-led, for African scientists and we are all committed to African health. It is an important initiative.

Kofi Annan

UN Secretary-General, 1997 – 2006

The researchers we’ve worked with have grown measurably in confidence and resilience, both crucial for becoming an independent scientist. AREF’s Excell programme helps to strengthen universities and centres in Africa.

Dr Hazel McCullough

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

We joined forces with AREF because we wanted to support as many emerging researchers as possible. We had a shared vision of empowering researchers from all regions of Sub-Saharan Africa

Dr Michael Makanga

European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)

World health cannot be achieved without African health. This initiative is important in ensuring African science can help African health.

Sir Donald Brydon CBE,

British businessman

There are many exciting opportunities for early career African scientists… but all too often their full potential cannot be realised because of lack of resources. AREF aims to address this gap.

Professor Sir Andy Haines

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

My involvement and commitment to health research, building capacity and training future scientists resulted in a concern for those who complete their PhD. AREF – an African-initiated, African-led charity for African scientists – has answered that concern.

Professor Rose Leke

Heroine of Health 2018

AREF has identified an essential step to develop a strong research base in Africa. The AREF programme will help greatly to encourage the ablest young scientists and reduce the brain drain from Africa.

Professor John McDermot

Imperial College London

AREF is tackling one of the greatest challenges we face on the continent today by harnessing and nurturing the human capital that must be the driving force for any sustainable change. AREF is pioneering that change in the important area of research for Africa by Africans.

Mutiu Sunmonu

CON Chairman, Nigeria

Supporting African researchers to identify and own the research agenda to solve health issues affecting Africa makes sense to us. The support they receive from AREF will both develop the African research community… and in the long term improve the health of the populations they work with.

Ian Taylor

Vitol Foundation Chairman, 1995 – 2018

Empowering the next generation of African scientists today paves the way for ground-breaking discoveries and innovative solutions both now and in the future. AREF’s dedication to supporting early career scientists in Africa is not only transforming individual lives but also promoting an ecosystem of research for Africa by Africans. At GSK, we’re very proud to support their work.

Juliet Addo


AREF provides opportunities for young African Scientists to show the world their professionalism and true African values. We are proud of our collaboration and support of AREF’s programs  which equip African researchers with knowledge and expertise to become future health and biomedical researchers that lead the research agenda that affects Africa’s health.

Samer Khoury

CCC Chairman

Supporting AREF’s efforts to enhance early career health researchers’ skillsets in Africa is an important step forward to tackle challenging healthcare issues on the continent.

Dr. Natanya M. Jennings

Global Health Equity Platform, Bristol Myers Squibb

The AREF approach contributes to quality science and research in the medical and life sciences sector for a better life of everyone. We believe that AREF’s approach and programmes can increase the impact of research within Africa and beyond – and save lives across the continent.

Dr Katrin Rehak-Nitsche

Robert Bosch Stiftung

AREF’s approach accords with a tenet of an African saying: ‘It is only the child that raises its hands that gets picked up in love.’ Through AREF, Africa now ‘raises its hands’ to deal with its own issues. It is for this reason that I gave and continue to give my wholehearted support to this timely and innovative charity.

O Orlando Ojo

Alfred P Sloan Fellow London Business School

Numbers of Africans with PhDs have increased but numbers of African research scientists winning international health research grants lag. AREF has been created to address this major concern. I wholeheartedly support its focus.

Professor Francine Ntoumi

University Marien Ngouabi, Republic of Congo

We work with non-profit organisations which make a concrete difference on the ground, whether that be in the realms of health, education or the environment. Supporting AREF for us means developing a strong network of young African scientists who have the opportunities and motivation to succeed.

Anonymous Donor


Francis Crick