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Evelyn Gitau steps down as Grand Challenges Africa Programme Manager


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Evelyn Gitau steps down as Grand Challenges Africa Programme Manager

The African Academy of Sciences wishes to announce the departure of Dr Evelyn Gitau as the Programme Manager for Grand Challenges Africa with effect from 31 October 2017.

Grand Challenges Africa is one of the eight programmes of the African Academy of Sciences and the NEPAD Agency’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

Gitau joined the AAS in 2015 to set up the scheme, which promotes Africa-led scientific innovations to help countries better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by awarding seed and full grants to the continent’s most impressive innovators.

“Dr Gitau is leaving the GC Africa programme in a strong position, which will ensure its implementation continues as planned and with vigour. We thank her for her accomplishments and wish her well in her future endeavours,” said AESA Director Dr Tom Kariuki.

She is leaving the Grand Challenges Africa programme having made a significant contribution to its evolution. She successfully set up the scheme raising over $11 million for its implementation and has built strong partnerships with the global Grand Challenges communities at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, India, South Africa, Institute Pasteur Paris, Korea, USAID and Brazil. She helped launch the first GC Africa call for proposals on maternal, neonatal and child health, which has subsequently announced its first eight grantees in 2017. Future calls from the programme on maternal, neonatal and child health and other priority topics remain on track.

“It has been a priviledge and an honour to lead the GC Africa programme and work with colleagues and partners across the globe to set up a strong foundation to guide its implementation. I look forward to seeing Grand Challenges Africa bring on board more partners,” Dr Gitau said.

Dr Gitau will continue to support the GC Africa programme in an advisory capacity on its Steering Group, an organ that brings together GC Africa partners to provide programme oversight and advice.

Kedest Tesfagiorgis from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: “It has been a great pleasure to have worked with Dr Gitau whose leadership of the GC Africa programme has been valuable and transformative, contributing to the growth of the global Grand Challenges community. We applaud her for her achievements and wish her success as she begins a new chapter in her career.”