In ‘Using evidence to set the agenda for harnessing the demographic dividend in Africa’ AFIDEP has been at the centre of promoting this paradigm in the region through advocacy and providing technical expertise to governments to assess the potential of their countries to harness the demographic dividend. In ‘Using research to address adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Malawi’ like in most sub-Saharan African countries, addressing the adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) remains a major challenge in Malawi. In ‘AFIDEP contributes to Kenya’s Health Bill’ AFIDEP, together with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), convened a key research stakeholders’ dialogue meeting to deliberate on the prioritisation of Research for Health (R4H) in the Bill. In ‘Barriers to research use in the public health sector in Kenya and Malawi’ a recent needs assessment of the status of research use in the health sector in Kenya and Malawi has identified a wide range of factors that are hindering policymakers within the Ministry of Health (MoH) and parliament from using research evidence in their work. In ‘Investing in developing Africa’s young population is central to the region’s socio-economic development’ Africa’s youthful age structure presents challenges but also opportunities for accelerating rapid economic growth and development in the region.