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AU-EU Summit 17-18 February 2022: A Science Agenda

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-18 February 2022. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.

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Thursday, February 17 • 16:00 - 18:00
(Ref 171600) Personalised Medicine: Towards a stronger EU-Africa collaboration (The EU-Africa PerMed objective)

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Personalised medicine (PM) has been defined by the EC as “a medical model using characterisation of individuals’ phenotypes and genotypes (e.g. molecular profiling, medical imaging, lifestyle data) for tailoring the right therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time, and/or to determine the predisposition to disease and/or to deliver timely and targeted prevention “. PM addresses the challenges of i) common medicines not being effective in treating large numbers of patients and ii) rising healthcare costs due to more prevalent chronic diseases and an ageing population. It does this through dedicated diagnostics, tailor-made prevention and treatment strategies for individuals or groups, so patients receive the specific therapies that work best for them, and no money is lost on trial-and-error treatments.

African countries are undergoing a demographic transition leading to increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs,) that together with the infectious diseases burden represent a big challenge for the near future. To cope with this, Africa urgently needs to take full advantage of transformative new medical models and tools, such as the ones offered by PM, that can be used to improve medical efficiency and help health systems to become more effective. Incorporating African topics in the global PM research agenda can contribute to shortening the existing health disparities between developed and developing countries, as well as facilitating the access of African countries to new tools and technologies that have the potential to make healthcare more efficient and equitable.

The session is convened by EU-Africa PerMed, an ongoing coordinating and support action funded by the European Commission H2020 programme, that seeks to facilitate and strengthen collaboration between Europe and Africa in PM at both scientific and policy level. The project is identifying and engaging with African stakeholders to understand the challenges and opportunities that PM can offer to improve the health of the population. Together, they will identify areas of mutual benefit for collaboration and set up an action plan for future collaborations between both regions in PM.

During the session, together with a presentation of the EU-Africa PerMed project, invited panellist from different African regions and stakeholder groups (policy makers, researchers, funding agencies) will present and discuss about aspects such as:
  • What is the scientific landscape of PM in Africa?
  • How does Africa pursue developing a continental agenda for personalised medicine with a regional focus?
  • How would international collaboration between Africa and Europe or rather inter-African regional collaboration be useful to increase the level of awareness and understanding of PM among policy makers?
  • How can African countries prioritise PM in national health/research strategies and what role can international research funding programmes play?

Structure of the session 

Chair: Evelyn Gitau (APHRC)
The EU-Africa Per Med project                     
Erika Sela, Innovatec (coordinator of EU-Africa PerMed)

Section 1: Personalised Medicine

Integrating PM in the Health research and innovation strategy for Africa (HRISA 2018-2030)
Paul Tanui, AUDA-NEPAD

Understanding the scientific landscape of PM in Africa results from the EU-Africa PerMed mapping
Amr Radwan, Egyptian Center for Innovation & Technology Development (Egypt)

The South African personalised medicine programme
Rizwana Mia, South African Medical Research Council (S. Africa)
Questions and Answers
Moderator: Evelyn Gitau
Section 2 EU-Africa collaboration in PM
How can participating in the EU-Africa PerMed project be a driving force towards the development of PM in Kenya?
Teresia Nyawira, National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (Kenya)
The vision from the EC, future outlook for international collaboration in PM
Jean Luc Sanne. Policy Officer, DG Research and Innovation, EC
International collaboration for capacity building and training in PM.
Souleymane Mboup /Badara Cisse, Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training (Senegal) TBC
Patrice Debre. French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (France)
Questions and answers
Moderator: Evelyn Gitau TBC


avatar for Erika Sela

Erika Sela

Senior Consultant/project manager, INNOVATEC
Erika Sela is Senior Consultant and co-founder of Innovatec (www.innovatec.es), a Spanish consultancy firm with a broad and long-term expertise in R&I activities.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is now project manager and co-coordinator of the H2020 project EU-Africa... Read More →

Paul Tanui

avatar for Amr Radwan

Amr Radwan

Head of the Research & Innovation Management Department, Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research & Technology (ASRT)
Amr Radwan has a clinical pharmacology background with professional industry experience. He obtained other degrees including a Master of business administration (MBA), Intellectual Property Right and Innovation Management & he is a fellow of the National Institute of Science & Innovation... Read More →
avatar for Rizwana Mia

Rizwana Mia

South African Medical Research Council (S. Africa)
Rizwana Mia joined the SAMRC in February 2015. She is responsible for developing the South African Precision Medicine program and incorporating the South African Precision Medicine Think Tank. She has spearheaded strategic partnerships in creating programmatic research as well as... Read More →

Teresia Nyawira,

National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (Kenya)
avatar for Jean-Luc Sanne

Jean-Luc Sanne

DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
Jean-Luc SANNE received the PhD degree in neurosciences at the University Claude Bernard of Lyon (France). He has been a research fellow in the United States at the University of Georges Town in Washington DC and then at the National Institutes of Health. After an experience in the... Read More →

Patrice Debré

Patrice Debré, born in 1945, received his degrees in medicine from Paris University in 1971. He subsequently became specialist in hematology. From 1975 to 1977 he was research fellow at the Harvard Medical School, USA, in the department of the Nobel Prize winner Baruj Benacerraf... Read More →
avatar for Evelyn Gitau

Evelyn Gitau

Director of Research Capacity Strengthening, African Population and Health Research Center
Dr. Evelyn Gitau combines a record of more than 19 years of medical research with a commitment to cultivating a new generation of researchers throughout Africa committed to solving health challenges. She is the Director of Research Capacity Strengthening at the African Population... Read More →

Thursday February 17, 2022 16:00 - 18:00 CET