Propelled by the need for systematic cooperation to address common and unique public health needs of Africa, the idea of forming a networking alliance was mooted during the first Directors’ meeting in October 2004 in Kampala, Uganda. During the second Directors’ meeting in 2005, AFENET was born and later incorporated. In September 2006, AFENET was awarded a five-year Cooperative Agreement by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
AFENET was born out of national Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) under the umbrella of Public Health Schools without Walls (PHSWOW) supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. The Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Ghana Programs which were established in 1993, 1994, and 1995 respectively were AFENET’s founding members. In 2004, the Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) joined the Network. These programs had been sharing experiences, staff, teaching materials, and undertook joint projects. From 1997, the programs continued to work under the Training Programs in Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET).