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This July issue of the AAS Big Picture focuses on the continued response against COVID-19, our 2019 annual updates and a series of blogs from AAS' community of scientists covering developing affordable titanium implants, harnessing solar power, improving blood screening and scientific priorities for climate change and maternal health. It also features funding opportunities in drug discovery, the recently launched International Research Management Staff Development Programme, and the call for applications for the AAS Affiliates Programme.
 
Reach out to us on bigpicture@aasciences.africa if you have content on science, technology and innovation (STI) funding opportunities, courses, trainings, events, conferences or news on science in Africa. Send in content by 20 July 2020 for inclusion in the August issue of the monthly e-newsletter. 
 
To catch up on past issues of the AAS newsletter, check out our AAS Big Picture web page. 

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AAS elects new members of the Governing Council
The AAS welcomes its new Governing Council (GC), whose term will run from July 2020-2023. The GC comprises of 11 elected members, led by prominent scientist Prof Felix Dapare Dakora, who was re-elected for a second term as President of the Academy. The other positions include Prof Barthelemy Nyasse who was re-elected as Secretary General, Prof Amina Abubakar was re-elected as Treasurer, Prof Elly Sabiiti was re-elected as Vice President Eastern Africa, Prof Francine Ntoumi was elected as Vice President Central Africa, Prof Akissa Bahri was elected as Vice President Northern Africa, Prof Mohamed Iqbal Parker was elected as Vice President for Southern Africa and Prof Salif Diop was elected as Vice President Western Africa region. Dr Mahama Ouedraogo, Director, African Union Commission for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof Catherine Ngila and Prof Mary Abukutsa-Onyango were elected as members of the GC. The new GC has more involvement of women taking up five of the eleven positions. More detail of the AAS GC can be found here.
2019 AAS Annual Update 
As the only pan-African science Academy, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is sharply focused on implementation of programmes, grant making, advocacy, recognising scientific excellence and shaping the continent’s science agenda. In realising this mandate, approaches have been refined to shape and revolutionise the promotion and development of science and technology on the continent.  We share lessons learned in discharging our mission in the 2019 Annual Update. 
AAS Future Campus
As part of the new sustainability initiative, the AAS plans to build an ecologically sustainable campus at its headquarters. This future campus aims to: provide a scholarly environment for African scientists to use for their sabbaticals/retreat and serve as an African science-hub showcasing some of Africa’s inspiring science, technology and innovations. To find out more or partner with us read here.
COVID-19 webinars 
The African Academy of Sciences has archived webinars on COVID-19, taking place in Africa for you to listen to at your convenience. These cover topics such as, mental health, early lessons from Africa and global health security. Listen here.
Enhancing collaboration to strengthen Africa`s clinical trial capacity
The African scientific community is adapting to the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment by readying themselves to conduct both drug and vaccine focused clinical trials. The Clinical Trial Community has launched the COVID-19 feature on its online platform, which will be showcasing clinical trials sites in Africa undertaking COVID-19 research. Read more.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Elderly
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Embassy of Italy in South Africa invites you to register for the virtual panel discussion on “Social, Psychological and Health Impact of COVID-19 on the Elderly: South African and Italian Perspectives”. This panel discussion will explore the challenges confronting the elderly with a focus on the mental health risks of COVID-19. Register here.
Webinar will be on 7 July 2020.
UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund Agile Response call to address COVID-19 
Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in Low and Middle Income Countries. Read more. 
Applications close on 31 December 2020.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is encouraging the submission of applications to rapidly improve our understanding and available control measures for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Read more.
Applications close on 30 April 2021.
The voices missing from South Africa’s response to COVID-19 
The Conversation Africa, 11 June 2020 
Ten days after South Africa reported its first case of COVID-19 on 5 March 2020, the government moved quickly to declare a national state of disaster. Within days a National Coronavirus Command Council had been formed, travel restrictions imposed, and schools closed. This article was written by AAS Director of Strategy and Partnerships Isavyani Naicker. Read more. 
We need to engage the public in flattening the Covid-19 curve 
The Standard, 8 June 2020
Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation at the end of January 2020 sending panic across the globe and has caused unprecedented and incalculable consequences in human health and health care systems as well as economies. Read more.
The Case for Why Africa Should Host COVID-19 Candidate Vaccine Trials  
The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 03 June 2020 
In response to provocative comments by 2 European clinicians and scientists, the World Health Organisation Director General has declared that Africa will not host COVID-19 vaccine trials. Such a stance risks stigmatising COVID-19 vaccine trials in Africa and depriving Africa of critical research. Read more. 
A quick look at the science supported by the AAS across the continent. This month we look at a series of blogs from AAS' community of scientists covering developing affordable titanium implants, harnessing solar power, improving blood screening and scientific priorities for climate change and maternal health.
What are Africa’s priorities for climate change?
The AAS is implementing the African Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Priority Setting programme, which is engaging Africa’s science leaders, policy stakeholders and partners to identify top scientific priorities. In this blog, AAS Senior Programme Manager for the Postdoctoral Programmes, Judy Omumbo, details the process for setting Research and Development priorities for climate change and why African scientists should take a front seat in tackling this global phenomenon. Read more.
The development of future generations of scientists cannot be left to chance
Assan Jaye is the Head of Research Training and Career Development at the Medical Research Council The Gambia Unit (MRCG) of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and a mentor on the AAS Mentorship Scheme. In this blog, he explains why mentorship is an important opportunity to give back and develop the next generation of scientists. Read more.
Setting research priorities to achieve quality maternal health care in Africa
The AAS is implementing the African Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Priority Setting programme, which is engaging Africa’s science leaders and political stakeholders to identify the top scientific priorities that, if addressed, offer the highest return on investment for Africa’s sustainable development. In this blog, AAS Programme Manager for the Grand Challenges Africa Programme, Moses Alobo, and AAS Programme Officer for the Grand Challenges Africa Programme, Colette Adhiambo, detail the process for setting R&D priorities for maternal, neonatal and child health and why these are important for Africa. Read more.
Improving blood screening for safer transfusion practices
Sophie Uyoga is a medical research scientist and a fellow of DELTAS Africa, a programme of the AAS, with an interest in blood transfusion and how to improve blood quality to aid patients’ recovery and survival post-transfusion. Sophie is working on the first comprehensive study on donor blood in Africa. Read more.
Harnessing solar power to provide clean energy
Zebib Yenus Nuru is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, Adigrat University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Nuru is also a fellow of the Future Leaders - African Independent Research (FLAIR) programme. In this blog, she discusses her research project, which will provide a new family of solar absorber material prepared by green technology that can absorb high solar radiation while re-radiating low. Read more.
Developing affordable titanium implants in Africa
Michael Oluwatosin Bodunrin is an early career researcher and AESA-RISE Postdoctoral Fellow based in South Africa. Around 80 million people in Africa are considered disabled, producing affordable implants and prostheses locally would help in tackling this disability burden. In this case study Bodunrin explores producing affordable titanium alloys that can be used in implants. Read more.
Meet Dr Bartholomew Nyangahu - African Postdoctoral Training Initiative Fellow (APTI) 
This interview with Bartholomew Ondigo Nyangahu, APTI postdoctoral fellow in the NIAID Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology. In this blog, he details his experience as part of the inaugural cohort of the APTI program, a partnership between the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more. 
Making an impact through an innovation ecosystem to enhance Improved lives in Africa
Simon Ndoria, Programme Officer at Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa), presents the Grand Challenges Innovation Network, a virtual network that launched on 4 June 2020 for African innovators and innovation support partners. This is an initiative designed to encourage and facilitate co-created solutions to narrow the funding and knowledge gaps in health and development. Read more.
Adoption of GFGP in Tanzania 
The Good Financial Standard has been adopted in the Tanzanian Standard and the gazetting process is being completed. This follows the adoption of GFGP standard in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. Countries such as Botswana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Senegal are as well in the process of adopting GFGP standard as their national standard. Read more.
The Global Young Academy's new leadership 
Two AAS Affiliates, El Youssfi Lahcen and Mohamed Elhadidy, were elected into the Global Young Academy (GYA) Executive Committee during its Annual General Meeting held on 12 June 2020. The GYA was created with a vision to give a voice for young scientists around the world and it is hosted at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The GYA empowers early-career researchers to lead international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational dialogue by developing and mobilising talent from six continents. Its purpose is to promote reason and inclusiveness in global decision-making. Members are chosen for their demonstrated excellence in scientific achievement and commitment to service.
The AAS and its partners have teamed up to offer opportunities for early career researchers. We also feature funding opportunities in drug discovery, the recently launched International Research Management Staff Development Programme, and the call for applications for the AAS Affiliates Programme.
Grand Challenges Africa Round 10 – 2nd Drug Discovery Call
This call seeks to target the best African scientists in drug discovery either already working in the field or whose expertise can be leveraged to bring positive change while at the same time create a cohort of future leaders to build and sustain world-class research teams in this science. It seeks to form interlinkages within the continent to develop drug discovery teams with successful innovative projects and give an opportunity to connect to mentors and drug discovery networks outside the continent. Read more.

Applications close on 7 July 2020.
Apply to be an AAS Affiliate
Applications are invited for the sixth cohort of Affiliates of the African Academy of Sciences. The AAS Affiliates Programme seeks early and mid-career scientists who demonstrate excellence in their development and application of science in Africa. These individuals become ‘Affiliate of the AAS’ for a period of five years during which they receive individualized professional development support and join a wider community of science leaders on the African continent. Read more.

Applications close on 24 July 2020.
The African Academy of Sciences International Research Management Staff Development Programme – (IRMSDP)
The AAS and Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) UK are launching the International Research Management Staff Development Programme (IRMSDP) to contribute to the strand on developing individual capacity of research management staff. The programme is focusing on knowledge sharing and the development of tools and resources, created by teams consisting of research management professionals from across Africa and the UK. This call for expressions of interest serves as an invitation to all research management professionals in Africa and UK working in academic and research institutions to lodge applications to participate in the programme. Read more.

Applications close on 10 August 2020.
H3Africa Affiliate Membership
A formal affiliate membership structure is necessary to ensure that researchers and research groups, whose goals align with the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa), can join forces to promote biomedical research and the translation of findings to a clinical setting on the continent. Affiliate membership is open to academic, research, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and industrial partnerships interested in forming robust collaborations to facilitate research, sharing of resources and strengthening of research capacity, in support of the Consortium. Apply here.
MRC/DFID African Research Leader scheme 2020 
The Medical Research Council (MRC) has launched a further call for the African Research Leader scheme to support and develop African Research Leaders. The aim of the scheme is to strengthen research leadership across sub-Saharan Africa by attracting and retaining exceptionally talented individuals who will lead high quality programmes of research on key global health issues pertinent to the region and beyond. As part of the scheme the African Research Leader should be supported by a strong linkage with a UK partner/mentor. This scheme is open to talented African investigators working in all biomedical and health research areas within the MRC/DFID remit on global health. Read more.
Applications close on 08 September 2020.
Environmental Policy Design and Implementation: Toward a Sustainable Society
The purpose of this Special Issue is to contribute on how environmental policies might be designed in the future for sustainable transformations of urban planning in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read more
Applications close on 30 September 2020.
Take advantage of these courses to advance your scientific and technical knowledge.
Research Writing in the Sciences 
This six-week course helps academic researchers in scientific fields (broadly the life sciences and physical sciences) to improve knowledge and skills in writing research papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Read more. 

Course starts on 6 July 2020. 
This month we feature an article discussing the buoyancy effects on human skin and an AAS report on priorities for climate change and development in Africa.
Buoyancy Effects on Human Skin Tissue Thermoregulation due to Environmental Influence 
This article by Professor Oluwole Daniel Makinde, Fellows of the AAS, examines the impact of thermal buoyancy on human skin tissue’s blood flow, heat exchange and their interaction with the surrounding environment using a two phase mathematical model. Read more. 
AAS Priorities for Climate Change and Development in Africa 
In July 2019, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) in coordination with IPCC Secretariat and the United Nations Institute for Natural Resource in Africa (UN-INRA) convened African scientists and key policy stakeholders to deliberate on climate change and development in Africa and identify evidence-based 
actions to address the issues raised by IPCC SR1.5. The meeting identified priority areas for the AAS to explore opportunities for enhancing AAS strategic contribution to the regional climate change and development forums in line with major policy frameworks including the AU Agenda 2063, the AAS vision of transformed lives through science and other relevant regional and global frameworks. This document here presents the outcome of this meeting which are currently being advanced into a policy paper to further engagement relevant stakeholders.
To participate in the prioritization exercises being conducted by the AAS, contact Grace Mwaura: g.mwaura@aasciences.africa.
Gender wire 
Gender Wire is an electronic newsletter informing the UNESCO Secretariat and UNESCO Member States of relevant facts and figures, events and news concerning the work of UNESCO for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. Read more. 
Crafting a framework for Africa's COVID-19 vaccine access
Devex, 26 June 2020
Drastic measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, such as strict lockdowns, are not sustainable on many parts of the African continent because of crowded living conditions and the need to keep economies afloat. That’s why an effective vaccine is one of the best chances African countries have to return to normalcy, experts said this week. Read more.
African Academy of Sciences: Strengthening Africa’s clinical trial capacity through an online platform
MedicalBrief, 17 June 2020
The African scientific community is adapting to the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment by readying themselves to conduct both drug and vaccine focused clinical trials. This has been possible in part because the number of COVID-19 cases remains low in Africa giving the community an opportunity to plan, improve processes and define new ways of doing things under COVID-19 instigated lock downs that have been implemented across the continent. Read more.
Research Fellow Launches a Comic Book on Sickle Cell Disease
Talk Africa, 19 June 2020
A research fellow for Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL) based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Research Trust Programme in Kilifi, joined the rest of the world in marking the World Sickle Cell Day with the launch of ‘The Sickle Cell Heroes’ Comic Book. The comic book was funded through the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) DELTAS Africa Community and Public Engagement (CPE) seed fund. Read more.
Q&A: Oceanography should be a core discipline in Africa
SciDevNet, 3 June 2020 
The importance of oceanography is massively underestimated in Africa, according to Rondrotiana Barimalala, the only woman from francophone Africa to be named a 2020 fellow of the Future Leaders-African Independent Research (FLAIR) programme. Read more.
La plateforme de la communauté des essais cliniques lance la fonction COVID-19 améliorée
L'Afrique a la charge mondiale de morbidité la plus élevée avec 25% mais ne représente que 2% des Les essais cliniques mondiaux. Nous montrons pourquoi il est important de combler l'écart et comment la nouvelle communauté Les essais cliniques va aider.
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