About AAS

The AAS is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation whose vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science.

Who we are

Our Vision:

Transformed lives on the continent
through science

The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation whose vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science.

Our tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through The AAS’ highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes, providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies and implementing key Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges.

The STI that the Academy supports focuses on five strategic focus areas: Environment and Climate change, Health and Wellbeing, Natural sciences, Policy and Governance and Social sciences and Humanities.

The AAS recognises excellence through the election of AAS Fellows and Affiliates who are distinguished researchers who represent the continent’s talented and promising men and women from across the globe. The 460 Fellows, who are elected based on their publication record, innovation, leadership roles and contribution to policy, provide the strategic leadership to shape The AAS’s programmes, engage with governments to enable wise investment on the continent, serving as reviewers for AAS grant applications and mentor early career scientists. The AAS also awards the Obasanjo Prize every two years to an outstanding scientist who contributes to the development of the continent.

The AAS has four platforms:

  • AAS Open Research, which is the Academy's innovative, open access platform to enable AAS funded and affiliated researchers to publish immediately, without barriers and with the benefit of transparent review
  • The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), which is the programmatic arm of the Academy, created in partnership with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD Agency). AESA provides the funding and agenda setting to catalyse the development and implementation of STI programmes in Africa 
  • The Coalition for African Research and Innovation (CARI), which is a sustainability platform set up with The AAS and her partners to accelerate STI programmes in Africa
  • The Global Grant Community whose core is an innovative and integrated tool—the Good Financial Grant Practice standard—to standardise, simplify and strengthen financial governance of grant funding worldwide.
A five-year strategic planning running from 2022 to 2027 is currently being implemented with a specific focus on building partnerships, spur scientific excellence and provide an enabling environment for people to learn and grow.
Our People
View Strategic Plan
From 1985 to 2024
Two South African scientists, Salim S.Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim receive the inaugural Olusegun Obasanjo Prize for their highly acclaimed work on the use of a microbicide, called Tenofovir gel, to prevent HIV infection and genital herpes in women in 2015. The AAS's in partnership with the African Union Development Agency, Wellcome, DFID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launch the flagship agenda setting and funding platform, AESA. Together with partners, The AAS established the coalition for the African Research and Innovation, a suitable platform to accelerate STI programmes in Africa to achieve outcomes that would help more Africans lead better lives sooner.
In 2001 The AAS established The AAS Endowment Fund though a US$5 million donation from the government of Nigeria. The AAS hosted the World Academy of Sciences Reginal Office for sub-Saharan African (TWAS-ROSSA) from 2003 to 2014. During this time, the programme honored over 70 scientists through the TWAS Reginal Prize, the TWAS_ROSSA Young Scientists' Prize, the TWAS-AAS-MIcrosoft Award for young Scientists, TWAS Young Affiliates and Biovision travel grant.
At the start of the 90s, The AAS has honored more than 100 Fellows as distinguished African scientists. The African Forest Research Network trained postgraduates students and gave grants to help African institutions to buy equipment, fund field research and develop the carrier of scientists.
In 1985, 33 African scientists meet in Trieste, Italy, to formally establish the African Academy of sciences as an honorific institution. The inaugural General Assembly is held in June 1986 in Nairobi, Kenya. First women fellow, Lydia Makhubu, a chemist from sSwatini, elected First issue of the journal Discovery and Innovation published and morphis into the online platforms AAS Open research Whydah: The quarterly newsletter of the academy is launched in1987 and renamed to science *Policy*Africa in 2012.