The Human Heredity and Health in Africa Project (H3 Africa) has been established by the Wellcome Trust and US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support African researchers conduct population-based genetics studies of common, non-communicable and communicable disorders (see press release). The aim of the project is to gain insight into gene-environment interactions and their influence on disease risk. It is hoped that studying African populations which are thought to have a greater genetic diversity, rare variants that affect other populations can be identified.
The Wellcome Trust and NIH along with organisations such as the African Society of Human Genetics will provide both monetary resources and administrative support. It is hoped that this will aid building research capacity, including infrastructure and training in African countries thereby allowing the conduct research relevant to solving African problems. In addition, it is hoped that this will also foster collaborations with researchers in other parts of the world. Working groups have been established to help guide the initiative, and the project is due to begin in 2011.