The African Science Academies Development Initiative (ASADI) was a partnership between African Science Academies and the U.S. National Academies borne to strengthen and support science in developing countries around the world. ASADI has continually engaged African Academies of Science in building their capacity to provide independent, evidence-based advice to their Governments and countries on health matters. Since its genesis, ASADI has been an annual event with the first conference being held in Nairobi in 2005 under the theme Improving Public Policy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa: Harnessing Science and Technology Capacity.
The second ASADI meeting in 2006 was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon under the theme Prioritizing Food Security Policies for Health and Development in Africa, the third meeting in 2007 was held in Dakar- Senegal under the theme Safe Water, the fourth meeting in 2008 was held in London themed Partners for Improving the Impacts of Policies in Africa, the fifth meeting in 2009 was held in Ghana themed Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Africa, the sixth meeting in 2010 was held in South Africa themed Improving Access to Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa whereas the seventh meeting in 2011 was held in Uganda under the theme Aid Effectiveness in Africa's Health Sector.
In 2012 during the eighth meeting held in Nigeria themed Climate Change in Africa: Using Science to Reduce Climate Risks, ASADI was renamed Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (AMASA) so as to create a voice for African Academies through evidence-based research that will help policy makers put science, technology and innovation in the front burner of national and continental development. In 2013 the AMASA meeting was held in Ethiopia under the theme Biodiversity and Biotechnology for National Development and in 2014 the meeting was held in Uganda themed Ensuring Country Ownership in Africa's Development Agenda beyond 2015. The themes of previous AMASA meetings have evolved with time, informed by the global socio-economic, cultural and scientific realities.
During the 10th Annual meeting of African Academies of Science held in Kampala Uganda, KNAS was unanimously voted to host the 2015 11th AMASA. The conference will be held in Kenya this year in Nairobi under the theme: "Non-Communicable Diseases: Post 2015 Development Agenda". With the global health agenda captured against the backdrop of the United Nations Post 2015 Development Agenda, Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) have become a major challenge to health systems, economies and social structures in developing countries, particularly since the prevalence is rising across all social economic classes worldwide. Changing lifestyles and standards of living are altering the disease landscape in Africa. The World Health Organisation states that: "In African nations, non-communicable diseases are rising rapidly and are projected to exceed communicable, maternal, prenatal, and nutritional diseases as the most common causes of death by 2030." Incidents of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancers can rise with improved economic development, resulting in an unhealthy, aging population. Hence the focus of this meeting on NCDs is to update the scientific community, health practitioners and policy makers on the current global status of prevention and control of NCDs against the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the emerging importance of NCDs in Africa's socio-economic development.