Africa Center of Excellence ACE2

CDT Africa

Center Title and Acronym:  Center for Innovative Drug Development and Therapeutic Trials for Africa (CDT-Africa)

Host University and Country: Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Center Website Address:
Center Director and email address: Dr Abebaw Fekadu, MD, PhD.
Primary Thematic Discipline of Center: Health

Brief Description of Center:
CDT-Africa is a regional center of excellence for education and research dedicated to support equitable access to interventions (medications, vaccines, diagnostics and complex interventions) and bring about sustainable development in Africa through high quality capacity development for novel therapeutic discoveries supported by clinical trials.

Key Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

Objective: Support equitable access to interventions (medications, vaccines diagnostics and other interventions) and bring about sustainable development in Africa through high quality capacity development for innovative drug discovery in a regional platform

Vision:  Africa-based, world-class center that provides ground-breaking discoveries and inventions of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions


  • Increased human and infrastructure capacity:
  • High quality education (MSc, PhD, fellowships and short courses) in place to build a critical mass of scientists and technical experts for therapeutic discoveries;
  • Improved infrastructure to support training in drug discovery and clinical trials Africa;
  • Strengthened quality management of education, knowledge and research
  • High quality research supporting trainings for therapeutic discovery employing diverse approaches
  • A well-established database of scientifically tested natural products, which will serve as resource for translational research and accelerate pharmaceutical innovation in Eastern and Southern Africa
  • Active drug discovery studies
  • Currently available interventions repurposed, formulated and reformulated
  • Safety and effectiveness of medicines ensured through bioequivalence and pharmacogenetic studies   
  • Pharmaco-economic evaluations implemented at a larger scale
  • Foundational skills and assets built for innovative diagnostics
  • Well-developed skills for industrial manufacturing in Africa
  • Sustainable impact established through medicinal plants conservation, public and policy engagement and sustainable financing

Major Accomplishments to Date:

-The Center successfully established and is actively functioning.
-Center website – the Center developed its own website ( and twitter account (@cdtafrica).
-The Center obtained new office space within the College of Health sciences and renovation 75% completed and refurnishing and gardening around; procurement of vehicles in progress    
-Office manuals developed: Three manuals (Human Resource, Financial Management, and Procurement Implementation) developed, in final review with the other ACE II centres of Addis Ababa University for sharing to World Bank for further reviews and approval.
-Consortium meeting conducted: The Center conducted its 1st consortium meeting in Addis Ababa with its national, regional and international partners and the World Bank and other funding agencies
-New MSc and PhD curriculums developed
-MSc in Clinical Trials curriculum developed, validation workshop conducted & comments incorporated, document submitted to AAU-CHS Review Committee and approval obtained. Document submitted to CHS Academic Senate for further approval
-New MSc and PhD curriculums focusing on supporting capacity for discovery and development of therapeutics being developed. Initial draft has been circulated within selected Faculty of CDT-Africa.
– International partnerships to support the curriculum and the program explored
-Twelve PhD fellows enrolled within preapproved programs, recruitment of additional 4 PhD and 1 Post-Doctoral fellows is in progress
-Recruitment of additional four PhD and one Post-Doctoral fellows under a project led by CDT-Africa in collaboration with University of Sussex (UK) is in progress.  Focus of these fellowships will be on anti-infective agents discovery, diagnostics and complex interventions.

  • Grants- the Center obtained three grants with its partners (King’s College London and University of Sussex and with a new partner) to conduct complex interventions study develop diagnostic tools for podoconiosis and anti-infective agents as well as complex interventions. Both grants support PhD students and post-doctoral fellows
  • The Center obtained another funding on EACCR2 project (supported by EDCTP) – a small consortium development grant.
  •  A study on “Conceptualizing Center of Excellence” initiated. Protocol developed & approval obtained. Qualitative interview collected through FGD and transcription in progress; individual interview is in progress. Systematic reviews conducted – 2ry data collected and analysis is in progress                  
  • A study on “Medicinal Product Mapping” initiated. Protocol developed and approval obtained. 
  • Research collaboration and partnership initiated. Partnership initiated with University of California, San Diego (UCSD), PBS, Emory University, the Malmar Knowles Family Foundation, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), EFDTP, African Network for Drug and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI)

Senior Faculty

Email Address

Research Area

Dr Abebaw Fikadu

Psychiatry/ psychopharmacology & complex interventions

Prof Eyasu Makonnen


Dr Anteneh Belete


Dr Getnet Yimer


Dr Yimtubezinash W/Amanuel


Prof Asrat Hailu


Dr Mirutse Giday


Dr Girmay Medhin