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Metab Brain Dis. 2016 Feb;31(1):3-9. doi: 10.1007/s11011-015-9687-8. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Building sustainable neuroscience capacity in Africa: the role of non-profit organisations.

Author information

  • 1Neuroscience, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.
  • 2Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP), University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.
  • 3Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.
  • 4Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.


While advances in neuroscience are helping to improve many aspects of human life, inequalities exist in this field between Africa and more scientifically-advanced continents. Many African countries lack the infrastructure and appropriately-trained scientists for neuroscience education and research. Addressing these challenges would require the development of innovative approaches to help improve scientific competence for neuroscience across the continent. In recent years, science-based non-profit organisations (NPOs) have been supporting the African neuroscience community to build state-of-the-art scientific capacity for sustainable education and research. Some of these contributions have included: the establishment of training courses and workshops to introduce African scientists to powerful-yet-cost-effective experimental model systems; research infrastructural support and assistance to establish research institutes. Other contributions have come in the form of the promotion of scientific networking, public engagement and advocacy for improved neuroscience funding. Here, we discuss the contributions of NPOs to the development of neuroscience in Africa.


Africa; Higher education; Neuroscience; Non-profit organisation; Research funding; Scientific capacity

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