The Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research organized a side event on the margins of the third International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2023) held in late November in Lusaka, Zambia, on how novel genetic approaches could be applied to achieve the African Union’s goal of eliminating malaria from the continent. Convened by the African Union and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under the theme, "Breaking barriers: repositioning Africa in the global health architecture", this year’s CPHIA brought together over 5000 scientists, policymakers, and advocates worldwide to spotlight African science and innovation, strengthen local, regional and global collaboration, and serve as a catalyst to drive sustainable progress against longstanding and emerging health threats.

The session was chaired by Dr. Abraham Mnzava, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), and featured Naima Sykes, Target Malaria, Felista Tarimo, Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), and Edward Lukyamuzi, Pan-Africa Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA). Speakers presented case studies highlighting initiatives co-led by African research institutions, aimed at enhancing the continent’s capacity to harness novel genetic approaches including gene drive technology for malaria control tailored to Africa’s needs and priorities. Presentations highlighted research progress to date and the role of partnerships in fostering research and development of new tools, as well as potential avenues to further support ongoing research endeavors.