Africa Fighting Malaria

Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM)


Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) describes itself as a non-profit “health advocacy group” founded in May 2000 and based in South Africa and the United States. AFM describes its mission as to “make malaria control more transparent, responsive and effective.” AFM‘s website is regularly updated with commentary advocating the use of DDT. [1]

The group has a base in Washington D.C. as well as South Africa, and in June 2003 it was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit group in the United States. [2]

AFM promotes the use of the pesticide DDT as the most effective means of fighting malaria. According to its website, “AFM was founded during the fight to save DDT for malaria control, and has continued to advocate for the sound, judicious use of insecticides in disease control for almost a decade. AFM‘s most recent contributions include: the April 2010 launch of the book The Excellent Powder: DDT‘s Political and Scientific History […] to date, no properly replicated and confirmed studies have been able to show that environmental exposure to DDT has a detrimental effect on human health.” [3]

In June 2010, blogger Ed Darrell attempted to find AFM projects that actually reduce malaria infections in Africa. After examining AFM‘s own reports, tax records, and searching the internet, Darrell concluded that “the major purpose of AFM is to pay [founder] Roger Bate about $100,000 a year for part of the time, and pay [director] Richard Tren more than $80,000 a year for the rest of the time.” [4]

Stance on Climate Change

December 2009

Africa Fighting Malaria shared a Wall Street Journal article on its page that contained the following quotes[19][20]

“There is no question that global warming will have a significant impact on already existing problems such as malaria, malnutrition, and water shortages. But this doesn’t mean the best way to solve them is to cut carbon emissions.” [19]

“Money spent on carbon cuts is money we can’t use for effective investments in food aid, micronutrients, HIV/Aids prevention, health and education infrastructure, and clean water and sanitation. This does not mean that we should ignore global warming. But it does raise serious questions about our dogmatic pursuit of a strategy that can only be described as breathtakingly expensive and woefully ineffective.” [19]

October 2002

Africa Fighting Malaria produced a paper in collaboration with the Liberty Institute and the European Science and Environment Forum that said: [5]

“By concentrating on the role played by climate in the spread of malaria, attention and resources are diverted away from activities that could reduce the incidence of the disease far more effectively.” [5]


The following is based on data archived at the Conservative Transparency project combined with original research of publicly available 990 tax forms by DeSmog[16]

View the attached spreadsheet for details on Africa Fighting Malaria Funding (.xlsx).

YearDonorsTrustDonors Capital FundSearle Freedom TrustExxon MobilHeartland InstituteSchwab Charitable FundEarhart FoundationGrand Total
2004  $20,000$30,000  $5,000$55,000
2005$7,500$75,000     $82,500
2006$10,000   $25,000  $35,000
2007$25,000      $25,000
2008$30,000 $50,000  $7,500 $87,500
2009$21,000      $21,000
2010$15,000      $15,000
2011$10,000      $10,000
Grand Total$118,500$75,000$70,000$30,000$25,000$7,500$5,000$331,000

According to its website, AFM has received funding from various individuals and from the following organizations: [21]

According to Greenpeace’s ExxonSecrets project, AFM has also received at least $30,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [6]

Documents in the Legacy Tobacco Document Archive (PDF) show that in the planning stages AFM unsuccessfully sought the support of the tobacco industry, which hoped to divert resources from efforts by the World Health Organization to reduce smoking. [7], [8]

AFM has also received funding from the right-wing Legatum Institute including funding for a “Pilot Study of Essential Drug Quality in Two Major Cities in India.” The American Enterprise Institute also participated in the study. [9]

990 Forms

Key People

Board Members

Donald RobertsYYYBoard member of AFM since 2003.
Gerry Ohrstrom Y  Also director of Reason Foundation, PERC, International Policy Network, and ACSH.
Lance LaiferY  Co-founder of Hedge Funds vs. Malaria & Pneumonia.
Richard TrenYYYAFM Director since 2000. Chairman of the board since 2006.
Roger BateYYYPast Chairman of the Board (2003 – 2006). Legatum Fellow in Global Prosperity at the American Enterprise Institute.


Carlos OdoraYY   
Francois MaartensY    
Jasson UrbachYYYYY
Kimberly HessYYY  
Lorraine MooneyYYYYY
Philip CoticelliY    


December 2011

AFM‘s Roger Bate testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and asked that the U.S. government “formulate policies to encourage investment” in combatting “anti-insecticide activism.” [22]

Early in his testimony, Bate championed the use of DDT as part of the President’s Malaria Initiative. [22]

June 2007

AFM teamed up with the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) to promote the Kill Malaria Mosquitoes Now Declaration (PDF) which supports the use of DDT in malaria control. [11]

The Declaration states that funds should be spent on the “actual purchase and deployment of: (1) DDT, or any other proven, more cost-effective insecticide/repellant, for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in any given malarial locality.” [11]

October 2002

AFM worked with the Liberty Institute of India in “researching the history of malaria control in that country and in doing an economic study of the impact of the disease.” AFM said (PDF) that they would use the study to “lobby the Indian government to make radical changes to the way in which its malaria control programme is funded and operates.”

They presented the working paper in October, 2002 at the Eighth Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in New Delhi, India. [2]

According to the paper’s abstract (PDF):

“While climate can affect the incidence of malaria, it is increasingly clear that man’s economic activities and malaria control strategies play a far larger role in the incidence of the disease. By concentrating on the role played by climate in the spread of malaria, attention and resources are diverted away from activities that could reduce the incidence of the disease far more effectively.” [5]

November 29, 2000

AFM ran a “Save Children from Malaria Campaign” designed to prevent the Stockholm Convention from banning the use of DDT. The coalition behind the campaign included: [12]

According to the petition, “Because we are working for human health and well-being, we support the continued use of DDT to fight malaria and save children’s lives.” [13]

Africa Fighting Malaria Contact & Location 

As of January 11, 2017, the main contact address in South Africa was: [18]

PO Box 17156 Congella
4013, South Africa
Tel/Fax: + 27 31 206 1416
Cell: +27 83 776 3820


  1. Mission,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived March 13, 2012. URL
  2. Africa Fighting Malaria, “Annual Report January 2007” (PDF), p. 1. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  3. Public Health Insecticides,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived March 14, 2015. URL
  4. Does Africa Fighting Malaria actually fight malaria?,” Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. Archived January 10, 2017. URL
  5. Malaria Control and Climate Change in India” (PDF), Liberty Institute/Africa Fighting Malaria/ESEF Working Paper, October 2002. Archived April 2, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  6.  ExxonSecrets Factsheet: AFRICA FIGHTING MALARIA, AFM. Archived January 10, 2017. URL
  7. Letter to David Greenberg, Philip Morris (PDF),” September 4, 1998. Retrieved from Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (Bates Number 2065246736/6737). Archived online September 10, 2009.
  8. Adam Sarvana. “Bate and Switch: How a free-market magician manipulated two decades of environmental science,” DC Bureau, June 2, 2009. Archived January 10, 2017. URL
  9. Bate R, Tren R, Mooney L, Hess K, Mitra B, et al. (2009) Pilot Study of Essential Drug Quality in Two Major Cities in India. PLOS ONE 4(6): e6003. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006003. Archived January 10, 2017. URL
  10. Board & Staff,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived January 11, 2017. URL
  11.  ”Kill Malarial Mosquitoes NOW!: A Declaration of the Informed and Concerned” (PDF),, June 2008. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  12. Save Children From Malaria Campaign,” Archived June 23, 2003. URL
  13. Sign our Petition!”, Archived April 9, 2001. URL
  14. Africa Fighting Malaria,” SourceWatch. Accessed January 10, 2017. URL
  15.  ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Africa Fighting Malaria. URL
  16.  ”Africa Fighting Malaria,” Conservative Transparency. Search performed January 11, 2017.
  17.  Donald Gutstein. “Inside the DDT Propaganda Machine,” The Tyee, January 22, 2010. Archived January 13, 2017. URL
  18.  “Contact Us,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived January 11, 2017. URL
  19.  ”Time for a Smarter Approach to Global Warming,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived January 13, 2017. URL
  20.  Bjorn Lomborg. “Time for a Smarter Approach to Global Warming.” The Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2009. Archived November 21, 2015. URL
  21.  ”Funding,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived January 13, 2017. URL
  22.  ”Fighting Malaria: Progress and Challengers,” Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs — December 5, 2011 Transcript. Archived January 13, 2017. URL
  23.  ”Staff,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived October 12, 2007. URL
  24.  ”Staff,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived November 22, 2010. URL
  25.  ”Staff,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived May 15, 2011. URL
  26.  ”Staff,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived June 2, 2013. URL
  27.  ”Staff,” Africa Fighting Malaria. Archived January 11, 2017. URL

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