ACEs Lead Health Research in Infectious and Genetic Diseases

Through partnerships with various international and local institutions, some of the health focused Africa Centres of Excellence are involved in research which is seeking answers to solving some of humanities challenges and curbing diseases. ACEGID for instance is part of a consortium conducting numerous studies (including an epidemiology study) in line with preparations for the trials of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for Lassa fever. The centre was also the lead in sequencing the first case of Ebola in Nigeria within 48 hours, a singular feat that led to early containment, management, and control of the disease in Nigeria, and hence saving lives of the many people who could have been infected by the disease.

With an estimated number of about 14, 000 babies born each year with sickle cell disease in Ghana alone, the West Africa Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC) is focusing on undertaking key research on sickle cell diseases. WAGMC is also involved in continental level initiatives, projects and networks including the Sickle Cell Diseases Genomics Network of Africa (SickleGenAfrica).  Other key focus areas of the research conducted by the centre include Diabetes, Kidney Disease, and Cancer.

The Centre for Mycotoxin and Food Safety (ACEMFS) is focusing its research on mitigation against mycotoxins for food safety and improved public health and trade. The centre conducts regional surveillance of chemical residues that is, heavy metals, veterinary drug and pesticides residues and hydrocyanic acids in cassava food products among others.

The involvement of some Centres of Excellence in conducting research focused on the characterization of malaria pathogens needs to be underscored. Professor Diabate Abdoulaye, the Centre Director for the African Center of Excellence in Biotechnology Innovation for Vector-borne Disease Elimination (CEA/ ITECH-MTV) for instance, received the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for his outstanding research on fighting malaria in Africa. All these efforts are in line with fostering world-class research excellence and providing lifesaving information and research findings on disease prevention and treatment.

Innovative research produces patented breakthrough product improving the economic status of women in Burkina Faso

Innovative research produces patented breakthrough product improving the economic status of women in Burkina Faso

Safiatou TRAORE, a national of Burkina Faso, is enrolled for her PhD studies at the Center for Training, Research and Expertise in Medicine Sciences (CFOREM) hosted by Joseph KI-ZERBO University.  She is currently in her 1st year of doctoral study in ‘Development of Phytomedicines’ and expects to graduate in 2023. She specifically chose to study with CEFOREM because of the high-quality teaching methods and the personal inspiration and guidance from Professor Rasmané SEMDE, who gave her the zeal and courage to not give up after successfully completing her Master’s. She appreciates the fact that she could balance her family life with her research work and studies.


Ms TRAORE PhD research is a continuation of her research at Masters level. Her research title is “research and development of creams based on honey, shea butter and Burkinabè plant extracts for the treatment of burns”. She indicated that in Burkina Faso, 13.7% of children under the age of 5 are admitted in hospitals for burns (2015). The local treatment of burns is currently based on expensive imported products which are financially inaccessible to the majority of the population.

Safiatou aims to develop a stable honey-shea-butter cream for the local treatment of burns to help support those most vulnerable who cannot afford to purchased imported burn treatment creams. The two raw materials are proven to have healing properties and most importantly, are locally produced, readily available, and at a low cost. “This research will not only produce an affordable local treatment for burns, but will also create new outlets and commercial opportunities for the honey and shea butter producers, who are mainly women’s associations in Burkina Faso.”


The patent of this innovative and problem-solving research product has been registered with the African Intellectual Property Organization, an intellectual property organization headquartered in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The shea-butter-honey cream is already on high demand by Burkinabè clinicians and pediatric surgeons. The Joseph KI-ZERBO University incubation office has invested in this product, including it within their framework as a university start up business. A business plan has been developed for its commercial exploitation and expansion.


The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) defines a patent as “a set of exclusive rights granted by law to applicants for inventions that are new, non-obvious and commercially applicable”. Patents are important because they allow holders to commercially exploit their inventions on an exclusive basis. The global patent system is intended to inspire innovation by giving creators time-limited exclusive legal rights, thus assisting them to appropriate the returns from their innovation.


In the short term Ms TRAORE wishes to participate in the valorization of local Burkinabe natural resources. Medium to long term, she hopes to become a seasoned academic, continuing to share and pass on knowledge and experience to build the next generation of female scientists. Safiatou’s academic journey has made her a strong believer in developing research capabilities of Africa. “There is no need to aim to only enroll in PhD programs in western universities.” Many women find it challenging to leave their families for studies – thus eventually not pursuing PhDs. Ms TRAORE advises that opportunities do exist in Burkina Faso for quality doctoral training and research programs. As a special plea to women, she states “sometimes family conditions hold back the ambitions of women to pursue their doctorate studies. Through centers in Africa like CEFOREM, which create conducive conditions for their female candidates – it is now possible for female scientists to enroll for their PhDs.”


Safiatou tells us that “studying at CEFOREM has proved to be rewarding because of the availability of the supervision team, the accessibility of reagents and consumables, the excellent support provided to each student and the presence of foreign students that allows exchange of experiences.” The ACE for development impact centers are demonstrating that through student-led research it is possible to foster creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa.

Certificate Workshop: Data Ethics and Skills for Reproduction of Research Findings Using Stata

AAU invites you to its Research Transparency and Reproducibility Training workshop titled Data Ethics and Skills for Reproduction of Research Findings Using Stata in Accra – Ghana, 7th – 10th August, 2018.

The Workshop Concept Note can be Downloaded From Here

The four days training workshop aims at empowering the next generation of African researchers with the appropriate skills and ethics to conduct transparent and reproducible research.

Participants will be introduced to the data landscape of Africa; emerging issues with raw data; best practices for data and code management; and using STATA to validate, analysis and replicate variables.

The core objectives of the workshop is to;

  1. Sensitize participant on various academic research misconducts (ethical issues) as well as the lack of sharing and openness in research.
  2. Expose participants to best practices for research Reproducibility, Replicability and Reanalysis (Pre-registration, Pre-Analysis Plan, Data sharing and the construction of a reproducible and transparent workflow).
  3. Equip participants with the requisite competence in data and code management using STATA as a tool.
  4. Provide participants with the necessary introductory toolset to enable them to carry out efficient data analysis in STATA.

Target Audience

This workshop is invaluable to researchers, academics, postgraduate students, policy makers and staff of statistical institutions (working in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Public Health, Medicine, Social and Political Sciences, Business Studies, Marketing and Management, Economics and Statistics) wishing to use Stata for applied statistical analysis, and data management.


  1. Familiarity with computers and a working knowledge of English is required. The workshop does not require any specialized knowledge in programming.
  2. To maximize the usefulness of this course, we strongly recommend that participants bring their own laptops with them, to enable them to actively participate in the practical sessions.

Date and Venue

The workshop will take place on: 7th – 10th August, 2018 at the AAU secretariat, Accra – Ghana.

Fees and Registration

  • Students*: $ 200
  • AAU Member Institutions: $ 350
  • Non-member Institutions, Non-Profit/Public, Research Centres: $ 400

*To be eligible for student prices, participants must provide proof of their full-time student status for the current academic year.

Course fees cover: course materials (handouts, Stata do files and datasets to be used during the workshop), a temporary licence of Stata valid for 30 days from the beginning of the course, lunch and coffee breaks.

Participants will be responsible for their own accommodation and travel-related costs, such as flights.

Registration Process

Individuals interested in attending the training workshop, must complete an online registration forms by – 30th July, 2018.

The number of participants is limited to 30. Places, will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. The course will be officially confirmed, when at least 15 individuals are enrolled.

Principal Facilitator:

Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim – Director of the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC)

Useful Texts:

  • Annim, S. K. (2018). Reproducibility of statistical data, academic publications and policy implications: Evidence from Ghana. Data in Brief, 18, 1298–1312
  • The Best Practices for Data and Code Management Manual, Innovations for Poverty Action.
  • A Gentle Introduction to Stata, 5th Ed. Stata Press 2016, (Alan Acock)

Contact Information:

Registration, logistics (accommodation reservation) and visas: Samuel Nyarko Agyapong –; CC:  Ms Nodumo Dhlamini –

Further details regarding our payment procedure can be found at:

Contact: | Association of African Universities | P. O. Box AN 5744,
Accra-North, Ghana | Tel +233-547-728975 All Rights Reserved © 2022