Infectious diseases account for 40-50 percent of illness in the region; these include malaria and tuberculosis, diseases that have been eliminated elsewhere. Infectious diseases are also a major constraint to both the export of African livestock and the spread of diseases from animals to humans. One reason the region has inadequate capacity for management of epidemics is a lack of qualified personnel. For example, enrollment in medical and health sciences is only six percent in Ethiopia, four percent each in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, and seven percent in Rwanda, all of which are significantly lower than comparable countries in other regions. Resources in traditional medicine and knowledge are not fully explored and utilized in drug development and there are concerns that the drugs and vaccines that western pharmaceutical industries produce are tailored more towards western diseases and less targeted to the needs of ESA.

In health, ACEs could focus on any of the following areas:

  • Pharm-bio technology – drug discovery, science-driven traditional medicine, and development
  • Bio-medical engineering – implant development, hospital infrastructure, and tissue-engineering
  • Bio-physics / bio-chemistry – diagnostic tools
  • Molecular biology – infectious diseases, vaccine development
  • Emergency medicine and trauma (with a focus on traffic injuries and deaths) and nutrition
  • Unspecified (room for innovation)  


There are five selected ACEs in the health area, based in Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. These centers will address development challenges in the areas of infectious diseases, public health, and drug development by providing leadership in postgraduate training and research in molecular biology, analytical epidemiology, traditional medicine, and pharma-biotechnology. These centers will provide a regional platform for innovative drug development, including exploring the use of traditional medicine, and support equitable access to medications and diagnostics in the region.

Selected ACEs and their universities in Agriculture


     U of Malawi College of Medicine, Malawi

     ACE for Public Health and Herbal Medicine

     Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

     Center for Innovative Drug Development & Therapeutic Trials for Africa

     Sokoine University of Agriculture,                Tanzania

     Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance

     MbararaU of Science & Technology,              Uganda

     Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Center

     University of Zambia, Zambia

     African Center for Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans &              Animals


Contact us

Inter-University Council for East Africa
Plot M833, Kigobe Road
Kyambogo, Kampala, Uganda

P.O.Box 7110, Kampala, Uganda

Tel: (+256) 414256251/2

Fax: (+256) 414342007