A delegation from the Association of African Universities (AAU) participated in the maiden West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) Annual Research Conference. WACCBIP is one of the 22 African Centres of Excellence under the World Bank ACE Project. The AAU is the Regional Facilitation Unit of the ACE project.
Chaired by the out-going Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, this event was held from July 14- 15, 2016 at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, in Accra-Ghana
The conference was attended by over 150 participants from both the international and local scenes, and had as its theme – Improving Health through Advanced Research and Training
Among others, WACCBIP organised the conference to provide the platform for its trainees to present their research work, interact with their peers and WACCBIP faculty members from all the regional and international partner institutions.
It further served as a forum for WACCBIP faculty to engage policy makers and private sector players on the nation’s health research priorities.
Leading scientists within the African region and international collaborators from the following universities participated in the event; University of Pittsburgh, USA; University of New Mexico, USA; American Society for Cell Biology, US; University of Cambridge, UK; University of Oxford, UK; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK; University of Copenhagen, UK; Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC), University of Bamako, Mali; Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme (CNRFP) ; Burkina Faso Centre MURAZ Research Institute; Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; Center Suisse de Recherche Scientifique (CSRS), La Cote d’Ivoire ;Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI-WTRP), Kilifi, Kenya; Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kisumu, Kenya; University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa
In his opening remarks, the Director of WACBIPP, Dr. Gordon Awandare said that WACCBIP is working to;
- Build capacity by providing full training pipeline: from graduate internships, through Masters and PhD programmes to Postdoctoral
- Create an environment for high quality training and development of research leaders
- Provide trainees with the skill-set for independent research in the peculiar research environment in Africa
- Build a network of young scientists who would be bonded together through their training and will continue to collaborate as independent scientists
- Generate innovations in molecular diagnosis and drug/vaccine development
- Bring scientists and policy makers together to discuss Africa’s health research priorities
- Invite corporate friends into the conversation about funding biomedical research and training
Whilst acknowledging current partners for their immense support to the Centre, Dr. Awandare called on governments and other institutions to partner WACCBIP and other scientific institutions in producing the one million new PhDs needed by Africa for its development.
More information on WACCBIP can be accessed from https://www.waccbip.org/