A group of researchers gather in a meadow for a photograph.

Joint research for better health

Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa (RHISSA)


Health care in Africa is changing: Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and Ebola are spreading faster than ever, and tropical diseases, which are particularly prevalent among poorer sections of the population, are very common. Non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance are on the rise.

In response to these developments, the German Government has undertaken to strengthen research for global health through the ‘Africa Strategy’ of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the ‘Neglected and Poverty-Related Diseases’ funding concept.


Research cooperation between African and German institutions contributes to a better understanding of illnesses that are associated with a high burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa and helps optimise their diagnosis and therapy.


The BMBF ‘Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa’ initiative promotes outstanding research to maximise knowledge gains. In addition, the 38 funded institutions in Africa receive technical and administrative support to improve their capacities. The initiative also furthers training opportunities for researchers and health workers in the partner countries.

On top of this, it facilitates greater North-South and South-South networking in the field of research. Ending in 2028, the second funding phase supports six networks involving research partners from 14 African countries and 12 German research partners.

The project contributes to the BMBF initiative. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is responsible for the African partners, while the DLR Projektträger is in charge of the overall coordination of the funding initiative and manages the German partners. Key measures of GIZ include:

  • verifying the proper use of funds and providing financial management advice to beneficiaries through dialogue, events and exchange formats
  • monitoring the progress of the research projects
  • reporting to the BMBF and a scientific expert panel

Last update: August 2023

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