Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Recommending key education players for African vaccine development.

Role: Pro-Bono Operations Consultant

Tools: SQL, Tableau


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The purpose of my consulting project is understanding the existing education infrastructure in Africa related to vaccine manufacturing. This would then lead into developing a strategy for growing and strengthening the talent pool of vaccine manufacturing engineers by systematically improving university programs in Africa.

This allows for a direct pipeline of students in Africa to work in local and cross-country vaccine manufacturing firms, helping address the medical issues facing Africa today such as TB, HIV, etc.

Working with a BMGF team of ex-Mckinsey and ex-Bain consultants, I solidified three main objectives:

  1. Build a landscape of the local talent pool for vaccine manufacturing and regulation in Africa.
  2. Establish case studies of existing partnerships between universities for the purpose of strengthening programs in Africa for fields relevant to vaccine manufacturing.
  3. Recommend potential “key central players” who could manage an initiative to form partnerships between strong global universities and universities in Africa.

I’m currently working on the second objective of the project, so I will only be able to showcase work accomplished for the first objective. This page will be updated as the project continues.

Objective 1 - Building a Landscape

To better understand the already-existing talent pool for vaccine manufacturing in Africa, the team decided to break down the landscape of Africa into regions with strong universities, existing partnerships, and potential key players. Our team presented a midterm deliverable deck to BMGF for the first objective.

Education Landscape Map

Using the 4ICU African University ranking system, I mapped out the various places universities with engineering and STEM programs were located across the country.

Here is an example of one map. The dots are colored based on opacity, with more opaque schools being better target schools that have engineering students for vaccine manufacturing.

Some key insights are:

  • Coastal concentration of schools.
  • Hotspots in Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and South Africa contain more in-depth training programs.
  • Vaccine necessity in countries located in certain areas.
  • Countries with a higher density of colleges have stronger engineering programs.
  • Higher populated universities have more niche programs.

Map created to indicate the different levels of STEM education across Africa

Program Use Cases

To make the content more digestible, I believed the best way to tackle the entire continent of Africa was by splitting up different regions of Africa into West, North, South, Central, and East. And while there are geo-political and socio-economical ties to these regions, this distinction is instead to better understand the content.

Here are a few sample slides about South Africa and its schools:

Transition slide to Africa

In-depth look at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

In-depth look at the University of Pretoria

These slides focus on presenting information focused on the university’s commitment to research, engineering programs, and any potential partnerships the university has toward vaccine development. I also made sure to note any key benefits the university provided that made it unique, but also some areas of improvements that the BMGF could help out with.

This specific project was no different, outlining the thought process admins would have while creating goals and the importance of having an additional response script feature, or an automatic default additional response script.

After compiling this information with the other regions of Africa, we noticed that there were certain key features that made a “good” program for the BMGF.

The table lists out what a "good" program is for BMGF

Currently, this project is still in progress. This will be updated as the project continues.