This policy brief is situated in the backdrop of declining or stagnant national and international research funding sources and the increasing need for new models for funding research and innovation. African countries face an urgent need to industrialise and achieve rapid economic growth to improve the livelihoods of citizens and attain robust infrastructure that supports health, energy, environmental and food security as well as full employment leveraging the demographic dividend highlighted in Agenda 2063. Appropriation of new knowledge generated by contextualised research and innovation is a key driver of sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic development. However, research and innovation are resource intensive depending largely on sustainable and focused funding buttressed by an innovation ecosystem purposively designed to harness innovations and turn them into useful products and services for solving societal problems. Many African countries do not have these conditions in place. Given the aforementioned, funding of research and innovation in Africa urgently requires new models that take a deliberate systemic approach to building coalitions of agents and actors in innovation systems, policy and governance designs and architectures and funders that support appropriate emerging technologies and innovations.