Cambridge-Africa Programme

University of Cambridge’s wide-ranging and long-term strategy of engagement with African higher education institutions moved into its next phase following the recent announcement of a $1.2 million grant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and a £1 million grant by The ALBORADA Trust. 

The 36-month award approved by the Carnegie Corporation’s Board of Trustees, alongside the four-year grant made by The ALBORADA Trust, will significantly enhance the funding already provided by the Isaac Newton Trust, the A.G. Leventis Foundation, and the University of Cambridge for the establishment of the Cambridge-Africa Partnerships for Research Excellence (CAPREx).

CAPREx aims to strengthen Africa’s capacity for sustainable excellence in research through close collaborative work with the region’s most talented individuals.

Building on successful partnerships with the University of Ghana and also Uganda’s Makerere University, CAPREx’s goal is to widen the scope of engagement to include the whole of the University of Cambridge and involve a greater number of higher education institutions in Africa.

The University of Cambridge has a long and rich tradition of research in Africa, although most of it had previously depended on discreet collaborations between individuals or specific academic departments.

A more joined-up strategy has recently emerged for holistic engagement with African universities, based on existing initiatives such as THRiVE (Training Health Researchers into Vocational Excellence in East Africa) and MUII (Infection and Immunity Research Training Programme), both sponsored by The Wellcome Trust. 

These capacity-building programmes focus on PhD and postdoctoral researchers in health-related disciplines. Young African researchers are matched with leading Cambridge academics who provide mentorship and support. 


The ’Cambridge in Africa’ programme is led by Professor David Dunne (Department of Pathology), with input from Professors James Wood and Duncan Maskell (Department of Veterinary Medicine and now Deputy Vice-Chancellor) and Professor Megan Vaughan (Centre of African Studies), and support from Dr Pauline Essah.

It works in partnership with African universities and research institutes in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, among others.

Professor Dunne, who has collaborated with colleagues from African institutions for over three decades, said: “I am delighted that we have received generous funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and from The ALBORADA Trust to support our Cambridge in Africa Programme.

The current commitment of the ALBORAD Trust runs to 2025 at a cost of over £4m.

Picture Caption: Dr Robert Tweyongyere, MUII fellow, working in Professor David Dunne’s laboratory, Cambridge


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