Press release: African network for drugs and diagnostics (ANDI) appoints global health expert as Executive Director

Newly appointed Executive Director set to pursue ANDI’s vision of supporting developing countries in fighting diseases that disproportionately affect them.

Addis Ababa, 9 December 2014 – UNOPS and ANDI announced today that Dr. Solomon Nwaka has assumed the position of Executive Director of ANDI, an organization hosted by the UNOPS Ethiopia Operational Hub in Addis Ababa.

"We are excited to have Dr. Nwaka join UNOPS as the Executive Director of ANDI," said Bamidele Ilebani, Director of UNOPS in Ethiopia. "On behalf of the UNOPS Executive Director, I wish Solomon well in his new position."

Prior to joining UNOPS, Dr. Nwaka served as the Acting Executive Director of ANDI, and headed several research and development units at the World Health Organization's (WHO) Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.

"This is a very important milestone," noted Dr. Tshinko Ilunga, Vice-Chair of the ANDI Board, "The Board is pleased to have Solomon continue the work he started."

Dr. Nwaka was a founding staff member of the Medicines for Malaria Venture, a public-private partnership based in Geneva, Switzerland, where he served as Director of Drug Discovery and Innovation. He has also worked at academic and research institutions in several countries, including in the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Nigeria, and Canada. During his time at WHO he championed the idea of regional innovation networks for research and development in health products, which resulted in the establishment of ANDI, the China Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation and the ASEAN NDI. Dr. Nwaka has published broadly on health innovation systems, public-private partnerships, health networks, and capacity building in developing countries.

Dr Nwaka said "I am going to Addis to pursue the mission of ANDI, I am looking forward to your continued support." The ANDI mission reflects Dr Nwaka's efforts to support developing countries take the lead in the fight for better health.

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Media contact
Chloé Coves, Communications and External Relations Manager | +251 941 134053

African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, UNOPS
UNDP RSCA Building, Dem. Rep. Congo Street
P.O. Box 60130, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

About ANDI (Note to editors)

ANDI was launched as a concept in Abuja (Nigeria) in 2008. ANDI's mission is to promote and sustain African-led health innovation to address African public health needs through efficient use of local knowledge, assembly of research networks, and building of capacity to support development. ANDI focuses on addressing Africa's unmet health needs by harnessing the untapped power of collaboration among African researchers as well as equitable North-South and South-South partnerships.

ANDI's vision is to create a sustainable platform for research and development innovation in Africa.

ANDI was initially incubated by TDR at the WHO and is now hosted by UNOPS in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

More information: | Twitter: @ANDI_Africa​