By Maiming Sey – Jawo
The Crick African Network (CAN), an institution based in London has recently held its scientific symposium at a ceremony held at a local hotel in Bijilo.
According to the organizers of the event, the forum is funded by the UK MRC and hosted by the MRC Unit in The Gambia.
The aim of the symposium was to train young African scientists for the next stage and having their own research platform to move forward in building their capacities in Africa.
Participants at the event were drawn from the whole of West African region including the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and Benin respectively.
Speaking at the forum Mr. Abdul .K. Sessay of MRCG recalled that Crick African Network is has a unique partnership between the Francis Crick Institute in London , UK and five partner institutions across the African continent, who are themselves world class leaders in scientific research, one of which is the MRC Gambia Unit and other members of the network are the University of Ghana, The MRC Uganda unit, Uganda Virus Research Institute, the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University (South Africa).
Sessay said a similar forum was held in Ghana, the second one in South Africa..
According to him after the forum 18 people will be selected within the five partner institutions in Africa that will be taken to London for 1 year training on independent research and after they will send them back to their institutions.
For his part the director of MRC unit the Gambia Professor Umberto D’Alessandro said the forum will create network partnership and highlight some of the latest researches being conducted at MRC Gambia unit and the Crick.
“It will also provide an opportunity to introduce postdoctoral scientists to the fellowship opportunities open within the Network and more generally, the workshop will also aims to tackle the challenges of high-quality research study design and proposal development in the context of improving, understanding and management of the major communicable and non-communicable diseases that beset Africa,” the MRCG boss said.
Profession Umberto expressed hope that these early career scientists will benefit from the training and connections they make at the workshop and that faculty members will have the opportunity to interact with Africa’s next generation of scientific leaders.