A new institute for neuroscience, the first of its kind in Africa, has opened at South Africa’s University of Cape Town (go.nature.com/2rmjjpc). Its aim is to meet one neglected aspect of the projected health challenge of a growing population, namely illnesses of the brain and mind. The entire continent has just nine mental-health professionals for every one million people (go.nature.com/35n1afj).
The institute will focus on conditions that are of the highest priority for Africa. One example is the surge in the number of children with brain infections caused by HIV and tuberculosis. And an improved understanding of brain development and health should help to inform strategies to maximize Africa’s economic potential.
Cape Town’s Neuroscience Institute promises to be an African centre of excellence, supported by scientists and clinicians from different fields. It will help to spread advances in the neurosciences across sub-Saharan Africa by acting as a nexus for training and collaboration through established networks such as the African Academy of Sciences (see also J. M. Wilmshurst et al. Pediatrics 137, e20152741; 2016).
Nature 574, 333 (2019)