African Union Grants

The African Union Commission (AUC) is committed to ensure that science and technology in Africa contributes to its sustainable development efforts. The Act establishing the Union recognises the need for Africa to embark on an ambitious strategic science and technology development programme, aimed at contributing to the wellbeing and improved quality of life for the African citizens. To this end the establishment of the AU in 2002 was accompanied by the setting up the AUC with a special Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology to drive this strategic programme.

This has further generated tremendous momentum in deploying science as a tool for development in Africa. The AUC created a Conference of Ministers in charge of Science and Technology (AMCOST) as a platform for the Union to periodically deliberate on science and technology issues. In 2005, the AUC through the AMCOST successfully developed Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) to secure our competitive advantage and to leverage on our capabilities and capacities by focusing our research and development to respond to our challenges and needs. The CPA brings together the AUC’s and NEPAD’s science and technology programmes and it articulates Africa's common objectives and commitment to collectively use science as a development tool through science and technology capacity building; knowledge production and management; and technological innovation. It addresses the way forward to use science and technology as catalysts for sustainable development based on its well defined clusters of priority R&D, Policy and Institutional flagship programmes.

The AU Commission, as an innovative way to exploit and utilise Africa's existing scientific excellences, promote greater participation and involvement of African scientists, researchers and institutions in implementing of the CPA designed the African Union Research Grant Programme. The objectives of this programme are to build the AU Commission capacity to create a sustainable system of competitive research grants at Pan­ African level; put in place procedures and processes to manage grants within the AU Commission with the ambition to utilize the accumulated experience to develop in future a fully fledged African Framework Programme for Research; and promote intra-Africa and international cooperation and collaboration in research. It is a financial instrument dedicated to deploy science and to improve research so that it contributes to continent’s sustainable development efforts.

In May 2016, the African Union Commission launched phase 2 of the African Union Research Grant Programme with an open call for proposals for Research and Innovation in Africa supported by the European Union.

This call for proposal supports Africa’s Science Technology and Innovation Strategy-2024 which addresses the aspirations identified under Agenda 2063 and Priority 3 on Human development of the EU-Africa partnership. The call supports research on: Food & Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) with particular attention on Sustainable Intensification.

The African Union Research Grant (AURG) is one of the programmes initiated within the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology (DHRST) to support a Pan African research and development through grants and direct funding. The programme provides the needed opportunity to use Science and Technology (S&T) as a tool for sustainable development, building and strengthening Africa’s S&T capacities.

The Commission through the support of the European Union secured a sum of 17.5 million euro under the EU Pan-African Programme to launch 2 calls for research proposals in Africa in 2016 and 2017.

The full Guidelines for Applicants, Application Form and other supporting documents are available on the AU Research Grants 2016 Call for Proposals website.

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Source and further information: African Union Grants 2012 , African Union Grants 2016