The African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development


The African Advisory Committee for Research and Development is a multidisciplinary, multi-sectorial body established in 1979, to provide advice to the Regional Director on matters of research related to health policies and development strategies.

The AACHRD has a consultative mandate to help the Regional Office contribute to the Organization’s second core function, i.e. “shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge.”

The Committee draws its membership from among members of WHO regional expert panels, Academia, WHO Collaborating Centres, and national professionals. Members of the committee, consisting of 15-20 experts, are appointed in their personal capacities by the Regional Director. They do not represent their respective governments of Associations. However, governments are informed of the participation of their nationals in the AACHRD.

The Committee usually meets annually to deliberate on issues related of their mandate.

More on the African Advisory Committee for Research and Development


The African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development members

The current members of the committee are:

AACHRD members

Prof Bongani Mayosi

Bongani Mayosi is the Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, and Dean Elect of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Cape Town. He is the Chairman of the South African National Health Research Committee, President of the Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR), and Chairman of the African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development of the World Health Organization – Africa Region.

In November, 2009, President Jacob Zuma bestowed upon him South Africa’s highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe in Silver, for excellent contributions to medical science. His research interests include genetics of cardiovascular traits, treatment of tuberculous pericarditis, prevention of rheumatic fever, and epidemiology of heart disease in Africa.

Dr. Salim Abdulla

Dr. Salim Abdulla is the Chief Executive Director of Ifakara Health Institute (IHI). He trained as medical officer and pursued training in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MSc) and Swiss Tropical Institute (PhD). Dr Abdulla joined IHI in 1996 and is currently involved in the evaluation of malaria vaccines and new malaria treatments for regulatory licensure.

Previously has managed large scale evaluation of insecticide treated bednets and artemisinin based combinations therapy for national policy formulation. He was also involved in multi country evaluation of mortality patterns and malaria transmission in demographic surveillance sites across Africa. Dr Abdulla founded and led the Bagamoyo Research and Training Centre, the branch of IHI responsible for biomedical and clinical research and training. Dr. Abdulla has published extensively on malaria intervention strategies and has interest in the translation of research results into policy, clinical epidemiology and capacity development issues. Dr Abdulla serves as a technical advisor to various technical committees in Tanzania and internationally.  He has received international awards including the centenary medal of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in the United Kingdom 2007 and the Donald Reid Medal for 2015.

Dr Edna O. Viegas

Dr Edna O. Viegas, Scientist, Instituto National de Saude, 
Maputo, Mozambique

Prof Jean de Dieu Marie Rakotomanga

Rakotomanga Jean de Dieu Marie est professeur à la Faculté de médecine d’Antananarivo, Madagascar, il dirige le Département de santé publique de cette Faculté et est actuellement le directeur général de l’Institut National de Santé Publique et Communautaire.

Il a été membre du Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development, Financing and Coordination (CEWG) en 2011 et membre du African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development (AACHRD) depuis la même année jusqu’à present. Il est également membre titulaire de l’Académie Nationale de Médecine de Madagascar et membre associé de l'Académie Nationale des Arts, des Lettres et des Sciences de Madagascar. Il a publié plusieurs articles sur les maladies transmissibles et non transmissibles dans des revues francophones et anglophones.

Dr Modest Mulenga

Dr Modest Mulenga is the Executive Director and senior medical scientists at Tropical Diseases Research Centre, a national health research institution in Zambia. He is an international expert in tropical and infectious diseases research. He obtained a BSc in Human Biology and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Zambia.

He also obtained an MSc in Infection and Health in the Tropics (Clinical Tropical Medicine) with distinction and a PhD in Tropical and Infectious Diseases from the University of London in the United Kingdom. He also hold a postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Tropical Medicine and a Diploma in Health Systems Management from the Royal College of Physicians of London, UK and Galilee College, Israel respectively.

He has served on various health research advisory boards and committees in the Zambian and internationally. He was the Vice Chairman of the National AIDS Research and Ethics Committee under National AIDS Council of Zambia, Vice Chair of the Developing Countries Coordinating Committee of the EDCTP etc.

He is a member of the National Health Research Advisory Committee for the Zambian Government and Chair of the National Nutrition Research and Academia Committee in Zambia, and he is also the country representative on the Joint Coordinating Board of the WHO/UNDP/UNICEF and World Bank Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR) and the Directors’ Joint Coordinating Committee of the East, Central and Southern Africa-Health Community. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at the Copperbelt University in Zambia.

He has been an active researcher for over 25 years and his medical research interests are in poverty related tropical and infectious diseases, especially epidemiology and interventions for the control and prevention of infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB etc.

Professor Fred Newton Binka

Fred Binka is the Foundation Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana established by the Government of Ghana in March 2012. Previously, he was the Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Ghana. He holds an MB ChB (Ghana), MPH (Jerusalem,), and PhD in Epidemiology (summa cum laude) Basel, Switzerland 1997. He worked with the Ministry of Health in Ghana for over 20 years, during this period he established the internationally acclaimed Navrongo Health Research Centre, in Ghana.

He also established, the Indepth-Network, made up of 33 filed sites in 24 developing countries in Africa and Asia. Professor Binka has served on more than a dozen WHO expert committees and panels; was Chair of the GAVI Independent Review committee for 4years, a Trustee of several International NGO’s working on Health especially malaria, such as IVCC and Malaria Consortium. A member of the Board of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), Seoul, Korea and the Council of the Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health Ghana. International awards received include first Recipient of Rudolf Geigy Award 2001 from the R. Geigy Foundation, the Ronald Ross Medal, 2010 from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for his work on malaria and Honorary Fellowship of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2015.

Prof Naomi Mmapelo Seboni

Professor Seboni is a registered nurse-midwife. She obtained her basic degree at the University of Botswana and Swaziland, masters degree at Columbia University and her PhD at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a former Head of School of Nursing, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery development for sub-Saharan Africa, she is currently its Coordinator.

Researched and published in the areas of adolescent health, HIV and AIDS, orphans and other vulnerable children, sexuality and culture. She served as an external examiner for a number of university based Southern Africa Schools of Nursing. She led the development of the Bachelor of Nursing Science Programme at UB, and also led the   initial implementation Master of Nursing Science programme in 1996. 

She is one of the founder members, and former President of the Tau Lambda at Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society for Nursing.  She is a Founder member of East Central and Southern African College of Nursing. She served as a Member of the editorial boards and reviewer for a number of refereed Nursing and midwifery journals. She received the Alumni Excellence Award from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) at its 150th year of existance celebrations on the 30th of May, 2015.  Previously, Professor Seboni was one of the 100 staff and former students of the School of Nursing at UCSF,  honoured to be on the Schools Wall of Fame.  Currently, she is the international President of International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Dr Manuel da Silva Caetano

Dr Manuel da Silva Caetano is Secretary General, Ministry of Public Health Luanda, Angola

Prof Germano Mwabu

A Kenyan national, Germano Mwabu is a professor of economics at the University of Nairobi. He holds a doctorate in economics from Boston University.

His research focus is on human capital, poverty analysis and health care financing in Africa. He has been a short-term research visitor at Cornell, Brookings, Gothenburg, Kobe and Yale. He previously served as dean of commerce at Kenyatta University in Kenya and a senior research fellow at UNU/WIDER in Helsinki, Finland.

Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana. Educated at the University of Ghana Legon, and Churchill College, Cambridge University, U.K. He has worked in universities in Ghana (Chemistry Department, Legon), Nigeria (Drug Research Unit, Faculty of Pharmacy Obafemi Awolowo University of Ife), Kenya (Faculty of Pharmacy University of Nairobi) and Germany (Institute of Pharmacy and Food Chemistry University of Erlangen) where he was a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Chartered Chemist and Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (was Vice President for the Sciences for four years), Fellow of the Ghana Chemical Society. Since retiring as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, he has been teaching and doing research at the University.

Has carried out several expert assignments for the World Health Organization (HQ, TDR and Afro Region), UNESCO, UNFPA, the European Union (EU), the Ghana Statistical Services and several other national and international organisations. For the past 30 years, he has been a member of the WHO Expert Committee on the International Pharmacopoeia and Pharmaceutical Preparations and Quality Assurance of Medicines and has chaired meetings of the Committee on a number of occasions. Served as a member of the Expert Scientific Advisory Committee of the WHO/TDR/EU- funded malaria drug development initiative, and the TDR-ANDI Drug and Diagnostics Development Initiative. Currently a member of the WHO-AFRO African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development (AACHRD), and was involved in various meetings of AACHRD and WHO-AFRO to study, review and make recommendations on the WHO-CEWG report on Health R&D, Financing and Coordination.

He has received several honours and awards including honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Ghana, New York University (NYU) and Soka University, Japan (Highest Honour). He was awarded the State Honour of Companion of the Order of the Volta (COV) by the State of Ghana in 2006 for his contribution to education and public service.

Prof Nelson Sewankambo

Prof Nelson Sewankambo is the Principal, School of Medicine
University of Kampala, Uganda

Dr Modest Mulenga

Dr Modest Mulenga is the Director, Tropical Diseases Research Centre
P.O. Box 71769, Ndola, Zambia

Dr Portia Manangazira

A director of epidemiology and disease control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe, in charge of four core Ministry functions; the national health information system, the health promotion, the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, Portia also sits on the African Advisory Committee on Health Research and Development, (AACHRD), the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research. (ICEMR – Southern Africa), and is a member of the Zimbabwe Medical Research Council, (MRCZ), and the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, (MCAZ) technical committees.

Her publications and research interests span the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases, women’s health, vaccinology and recently, adolescent health, and have been influenced by personal interests, the sound academic grounding, and the challenges met in the course of work. 

Multi-talented, Portia has contributed to science through further developing and using her research skills with support from academics to build the evidence for public health interventions in Zimbabwe as Principal Investigator and Coordinator of key national surveys; three Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Surveys, two EPI coverage surveys, the malaria indicator survey, and the national prevalence and mapping surveys for the priority neglected tropical diseases, (NTDS). She also mentors MPH students from the University of Zimbabwe and from Africa University during their field attachments.

At the Ministry headquarters, she has also been meaningfully involved in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programs for impact, including development of surveillance and emergency preparedness and response, (EPR) policies, strategies, and health worker guidelines.

Dr Tewabech Bishaw

Dr Tewabech Bishaw is the President, Ethiopian Public Health Association, Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia

Dr Cheikh Seydil Moctar Mbacke

Dr Cheikh Seydil Moctar Mbacke is an Independent Consultant
R&D for health technologies

Prof Pierre Ongolo-Zogo

Consultant Radiologist, Chief of Service, Yaoundé Central Hospital. 

Associate Professor CAMES, Clinical Radiology, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University Yaoundé 1. 

Health Policy and Systems Analyst, Director, Centre for Development of Best Practices in Health. 

Chair, Steering Group, EVIPNet Africa. 

Pierre is the founder and director, since 2008, of the Centre for development of best practices in health devoted to promote evidence synthesis and evidence-informed health policy-making in Africa. Beside clinical radiology, his research interest is health policy and systems research related to health governance and financing, immunization, knowledge translation tools and strategies, access to medicines, NCDs, m-Health, and quality improvement.

In 2003-2008, Pierre founded and headed the Division of health operations research in the Cameroon ministry of public health to support the health sector reform. He instituted M&E and research units in the priority health programmes and a national consultative commission for health research. Pierre contributed to strengthen the national health research system as illustrated by the creation of the Chantal Biya International Research Center on HIV-AIDS. He seated at the Joint Coordinating Board of WHO-TDR, World Health Assemblies, AFRO regional committees, regional and global consultations on health research priorities (Mexico, Algiers, Bamako) and scientific advisory panels (AACHRD, AHSI- Canadian Global Health Research Initiative, US Agency for Quality Health Research, Grand Challenges Canada, SAGE stakeholder panel, TDR, World Report 2013). 

Pierre graduated as MD (University Poincare, Nancy) and clinical radiologist (University Claude Bernard, Lyon) with a MSc in Biomedical Engineering (University J. Fournier, Grenoble, France) before returning back to his native Cameroon in 1998. He is a PhD candidate in health policy and knowledge translation at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

Prof Ames Dhai

Professor Dhai is the Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. She established the Centre in 2007. The Centre, which runs Masters and PHD programs in Bioethics and Health Law has local and international recognition as a leading Centre in these disciplines and was awarded the World Medical Association Co-operating Centre and the South African Unit of the UNESCO International Network in Bioethics status in 2013.

Professor Dhai serves on several policy making bodies in the country, including being a Past President of the South African Medical Association. She also serves regularly as a consultant / expert advisor for the World Health Organisation, is on the WHO’s African Advisory Committee for Health Research, and serves on the World Medical Association’s (WMA) Working Group on Health Databases and Biobanks.

She is a member of the Advisory Board and a Collaborator of The Global Health Impact Organization and is Head of the African Division of the UNESCO Network of Bioethics Chairs (Haifa). She participated in the WMA’S Working Group on amendments to the current Declaration of Helsinki and in activities of the Institutes of Medicine (USA), and the National Academies of Sciences (USA).

She is Editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of Bioethics and Law and Associate Editor of the South African Medical Journal. She is an ethicist of international standing who can be credited with entrenching bioethics as an integral aspect of health sciences in SA. She started off her career as a medical doctor, specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and then went on to graduate with a Masters in Law and Ethics, followed by a PhD in Bioethics and Health Law. 

Pr. Nyasse Barthelemy

Nyasse Barthelemy studied Natural products Chemistry at the Museum National d’Histoire de Paris and Synthetic Chemistry at the University of Uppsala before returning to Cameroon in 1994. Since 2004, he is a full professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Yaoundé I. In addition to his duties as lecturer and research manager, he serves as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Professionalization and Development of ITC at the University of Bamenda, Cameroon.

Before that, he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research & Cooperation at the same University (June 2014-November 2015); Director of Studies, Planning & Statistics at the Ministry of Higher Education of Cameroon (2009-2014).

Professor Nyasse has participed in many research projects for development (formulation of Hepasor as hepatoprotective drug; Camzin, antifungal topical balm; development of selective inhibitors of the glycolytic pathways in parasites, etc.) and acquired expertise on IP issues, project design & management, curriculum design.

Professeur Nyasse is a Fellow of African Academic of Science and serves on its Science & Education committee; Membership Advisory Committee. He is also the Chairperson of the Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee of the African Network for Drugs & Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI).

Temporary Advisers and Regional Partners

Dr Flavia Senkubuge

Dr Flavia Senkubuge, is Secretary of the AACHRD.

She is Vice President, African Federation of Public Health Associations, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Prof Maria do Rosario Bragança Sambo

Prof Maria do Rosario Bragança Sambo is Rector, Agostinho Neto University, Luanda, Angola

Prof Francine Ntoumi

Born in Brazzaville, Francine Ntoumi studied in France where she has got PhD and Habilitation at University P&M Curie. She has worked in different countries (Gabon, Germany and Congo) as a researcher and also held positions in international organizations in the Netherlands and Tanzania from 2005 to 2010 where she was the first African leader of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, MIM (2005 -2010). Her publication records include articles in Science and The Lancet.

Francine Ntoumi is member of several scientific committees and international scientific networks in Africa and Europe. During her career mostly conducted in research on malaria, she has trained many African scientists of different nationalities in immunology and molecular epidemiology. Since January 2009, Prof. Francine Ntoumi is highly involved in developing health research capacities in Central Africa through the regional network of excellence namely Central Africa Network on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Malaria , CANTAM and specifically in republic of Congo through the Fondation Congolaise pour la Recherche Médicale. In 2012, Prof. Francine Ntoumi received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Regional Scientific Award for women and was the laureate of the Georg Forster scientific Prize of the Alexander Humboldt Foundation for 2014.

Prof Tumani Corrah

Professor Tumani Corrah is Director of the Africa Research Excellence Fund.

He is also the MRC’s foundation Director of Africa Research Development and the first Emeritus Director of the MRC Unit, The Gambia.  This provides Tumani with the ideal platform from which to work with partners to enhance research excellence by supporting talented researchers working on significant research challenges for health in west, central and eastern Africa.

Tumani Corrah’s role plays to his personal passion for growing a new generation of outstanding African researchers working in Africa. He is leading a new charity (AREF) that gives much-needed support to bright, early postdoctoral African scientists at the most vulnerable point in their careers.  The charity aims to provide the foundation for these young scientists to compete and win grants, enabling them to continue their health research careers in Africa.

Tumani has over thirty years of progressively senior-level experience in a leading research institution in Africa – the MRC Unit in The Gambia.  There, he rose through the ranks to the position of Unit Director, a position he held through many challenges for over ten years. 

For three decades, Professor Corrah has retained active research interests in tropical and infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV and malaria.  He is medically qualified and holds a PhD from his studies on tuberculosis which included the ground-breaking science of the introduction of immunotherapy as an adjunct treatment for tuberculosis in The Gambia.

Prof Charles Shey Wiysonge

Charles Shey Wiysonge is the Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Deputy Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, and head of the Implementation Research Regional Training Centre  at Stellenbosch University, as well as Chief Specialist Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council.

He is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE); the Independent Review Committee of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi); the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group; and other scientific committees in the fields of immunisation and implementation science. In 2011 he was decorated by the Presidency of Cameroon with the National Order of Valour, the highest honour in Cameroon, in the category “Chevalier". His research interests include childhood immunisation, evidence synthesis, and knowledge translation.


Selection and appointment

AACHRD members are recruited and selected as acknowledged experts within the African Region in the fields of health research and development relevant to the Strategic Directions of the WHO African Region and the overall Strategic Objectives of the World Health Organization4.

The membership of the AACHRD shall seek to reflect a representative of:

  1. Professional affiliation (e.g., academia, medical profession, clinical practice, research institutes, and government bodies including national and regional networks for research, professional associations, WHO collaborating centres, public health departments and regulatory authorities);
  2. Major areas of expertise (e.g., formulation of policy guidelines; health systems and Primary Health Care; health of the Mother, Child, Adolescent and Elderly; prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases; Financing and coordination of Research; Bioethics); and
  3. The two core functions of WHO relating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge; articulating ethnical and evidence based policy options.

AACHRD members, including the Chairperson; are selected on the basis of their qualifications and ability to contribute to the accomplishment of AACHRD’s objectives.

They are appointed by the WHO Regional Director. All nominations for new AACHRD members, as well as renewals and discontinuation of appointments to AACHRD, must be approved by the WHO Regional Director. Consideration will be given to ensuring appropriate geographic representation and gender balance.

Members of AACRD, including the Chairperson, shall be appointed to serve for an initial term of three years. Such three-year terms may be renewed once.

Prior to being appointed as AACHRD members and prior to renewal of term, nominees and current AACHRD members shall be required to complete a WHO declaration of interest.

In addition, prior to confirmation by WHO of their appointment as AACHRD members, AACHRD nominees shall be required to sign a confidential agreement (Annex2). All papers presented to AACHRD, which may include prepublication copies of research reports or documents of commercial significance, shall be treated as confidential by AACHRD members.

Roles and responsibilities of AACHRD Members:

Members of AACHRD have a responsibility to provide WHO with high quality, well considered, advice and recommendations on matters described in the AACHRD terms of reference that will guide Member States in the WHO African Region accelerate progress towards regional and global targets for the implementation of research for health and development goals. Members play a critical role in ensuring the reputation of AACHRD as an internationally recognized advisory group in the field of research for health. In keeping with AACHRD’s mandate to provide strategic advice rather than technical input, members will be recommitted to the development and improvement of public health policies. Where necessary, focused technical input will be solicited from identified experts advisory scientific groups.

The Committee has no executive or regulatory function. Its role is solely to provide advice and recommendations to the WHO Regional Director, and includes providing advice and recommendations on urgent matters as needed.

AACHRD members may be approached by non-WHO sources for their views, comments and statements or particular matters of public health concern and asked to state the views of AACHRD. AACHRD members shall refer such enquiries to WHO.