Who we are About us About us Africa continues to shoulder a crippling share of the world’s disease burden. Each year, millions of lives are lost prematurely due to poor health and disease. As well as the heavy cost to human life, this health crisis has an enduring impact on families, communities, and the continent’s economic development. The burden of disease continues to be dominated by infectious diseases, but Africa is also facing a rising tide of non-infectious conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental illness, as well as health problems and disabilities caused by road traffic accidents – all of which increases the pressure on already weak healthcare systems. The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) was founded by Professor Tumani Corrah KBE and established by the UK Medical Research Foundation to invest in a new generation of emerging African researchers in Africa. We nurture African health research by supporting and developing early-career researchers, ensuring their talent is retained within Africa, where their knowledge is required to improve health and save lives. To transform the continent’s health, Africa needs ground-breaking health research which directly informs and influences healthcare policy and practice.