SAMRCFunders Forum to bring together health research funders in Africa from November 20 to 22, 2022
The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has announced the next Sub-Saharan Funders Forum to be held November 20-22, 2022 in Somerset West near Cape Town. This key event brings together health research funders in the South African Development Community (SADC) region to promote collaboration and funding coordination to address a broad range of public health priorities.
Although broader in scope, the Funders Forum shares several aims and priorities with GloPID-R, such as avoiding duplication of research and ensuring the local context is taken into account. It also promotes awareness of funders’ activities in specific territories; fosters cross-sectoral collaboration; focuses on research fairness and consensus on funding mechanisms for research projects; and ensures that, where possible, funders align their investments with national/regional priorities.
Zoleka Ngcete is a Senior Program Manager at the SAMRC and part of the Funders Forum organizing team. She explained that having both the GloPID-R African Regional Hub and the Funders Forum coordinated by the same organization, will ensure alignment between the two initiatives. “GloPID-R has a very specific focus that we don’t want to be diluted. The Funders Forum has a broader mandate, but it is highly probable that actions supported by other funders in the region through the forum will contribute to pandemic preparedness,” she said.
Because the Forum puts the accent on working together, it encourages the alignment of the efforts of many stakeholders. “We are aware of the impact of a lack of coordination across the African continent. There is a lot of duplication and waste of resources. We want funders to work in a coordinated manner, with local stakeholders, to understand the local context, needs and perspectives,” added Zoleka.
The first Funders Forum, organized in Cape Town in May 2022, was attended by more than 35 delegates representing over 40 active funding organizations from many different countries. It was hosted by the SAMRC and the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), with the support of the New Ventures Fund.