West Africa Research Platform

MRC The Gambia West Africa Research Platform

West Africa bears a high disease burden while local research capacities need to be developed further. There are several international and national funding initiatives and programmes addressing these issues. The MRCG recognises its unique positioning in the West Africa Region and intends to contribute and influence programmes aimed at creating a strong research and training hub able to respond to the regional needs.

Our goal in West Africa is being implemented through activities centred around

  • The development and implementation of joint collaborative research proposals, taking advantage of newly established research institutions in several West African countries.
  • The development of strategic relationships with well-established institutions, aiming to establish a shared pool for human resources, equipment and infrastructure.
  • The development of initiatives aiming at helping young researchers towards scientific independence, including mentoring programmes, support to institutions for researcher development programmes, and initiatives for building capacities for research support activities.
  • Use of existing networks for creating greater awareness of the need, significance and necessity for sustainable biomedical research in our communities. This involves advocacy and networking with decision and policy makers.

The Unit has established a strategic partnership with Université Cheikh Anta Diop and the Institute de Recherche en Santé de Surveillance Epidémiogique et de Formation (IRESSEF) through an alliance called the West Africa Global Health Alliance (WAGHA). In addition, the Unit has established a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar. We will seek to establish similar initiatives with other established research institutions in the region.

The expected combined effect of the above initiatives is both the promotion and development of the next generation of West African scientists, and the creation of a platform of resources and infrastructure from which scientists, both within and outside the networks, will be able to build their research programs. Eventually, we expect an increased contribution of West African scientists to the global health research agenda.


Prof Martin Antonio

Martin Antonio

West Africa Research Platform

Dembo Kanteh

West Africa Research Platform