Professor Hannah Akuffo

Swedish International Development Agency

Senior Research Advisor


Hannah Akuffo, a Senior Research Advisor at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and affiliate Professor of Parasitology at Karolinska Institutet (KI) has studied infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the poor, including leprosy, leishmaniasisis, and river blindness. After years of research and training of Students, she has worked with research cooperation at Sida since 1998 which is currently part of the Department for Partnership and Innovations of Sida.

Hannah had the privilege to start the research cooperation between Sida and Makerere University in 1999 when the University was trying to emerge from a major crisis after many years of political turmoil. Long term financial support to enhance the research capacity at the university at all levels has contributed to Makerere University’s current possibility to assert its role as a prominent university with enhanced research capacity.

Hannah has served as the Swedish representative in the General Assembly of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) from the onset (for 4 years as chairperson), Chairperson of the European Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EMVI), Chairperson of the ESSENCE on Health Research initiative a collaboration amongst funders of research capacity for health. She has served in various research committees of the Special programme on Tropical Disease Research and Training (TDR), including 5 years as the chairperson of the Research Strengthening Group of TDR, 6 years as a member of TDR’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, and as Member then Chairperson of the TDR governing organ, the Joint Coordinating Board. Hannah has also served on scientific committees of German Research Foundation.

Hannah currently serves on scientific committees of the Wellcome Trust funded Makerere University /UVRI Centre of Excellence Infection and Immunity Research and Training (MUII), as well as Training Health Researchers into Vocational Excellence in East Africa (THRiVE), plus the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded programme “Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa”.

Hannah’s passion remains research capacity strengthening in low income countries.