The Open Philanthropy Project awarded a grant of $2,350,000 over three years to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency), the technical arm of the African Union, to support the evaluation, preparation, and potential deployment of gene drive technologies in some African regions. This grant falls within Open Philanthropy's work on scientific research.
The NEPAD Agency plans to use this grant to develop regulatory capacity for novel vector control approaches, including gene drive mosquitoes, at national and regional economic levels; support the functioning of relevant regulatory bodies in areas related to transgenic mosquitoes; conduct study tours for key stakeholders at political, regulatory, scientific and community levels; engage communities and the public through outreach and education; and develop guidelines and other technical documents related to synthetic biology and gene drive technologies.
This is one of several grants Open Philanthropy is making with a goal of supporting gene drive technologies to help eliminate malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, if feasible, ethical, safe, approved by the regulatory authorities, and supported by the affected communities. The rationale behind this effort is described in more detail in Open Philanthropy's writeup about a larger grant we made to support Target Malaria.