African researchers must negotiate for equitable NTD partnerships-Dr. Amuasi

African researchers must negotiate for equitable NTD partnerships-Dr. Amuasi

February 21, 2024

Dr. John Amuasi, Executive Director of the African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD), encouraged African researchers to negotiate and push for equitable research collaborations.

“Collaborations are reciprocal in nature. You understand what will be best in your context. You must not shy away from negotiating. You often have more power than you know,” he stated.

“There are opportunities within the local context that can be leveraged to combat NTDs effectively.

Dr Amuasi further stressed the potential that exists in Africa and the need to commit to building capacity and strengthening systems within the local context.

“African researchers ought to be resourceful. We have potential. Tapping into this local potential presents a pragmatic approach to tackling NTDs in the African setting,” he continued.

The African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD) commemorates the World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day celebration by sparking conversations on key strategies employed in Africa to amplify influence in the space of NTDs researchers, despite limited resources.

The event themed “Unite.Act.Eliminate”, brought together experts to discuss how researchers should approach and manage international collaborations and immediate actions African NTD researchers can take to achieve impact and meet program goals in the absence of substantial funding from funders and Big Pharma.

Individuals from twenty-six different countries tuned into the conversation with heavy participation from Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. This was valuable as the webinar explored the heart of collaboration and partnerships in research, how to foster meaningful collaborations to enhance the impact of NTD research, transcending geographical boundaries for a united front against these diseases.

Dr. Akua Obeng Forson, head of Medical Laboratory Sciences Department, University of Ghana, outlined how researchers can navigate partnerships within the local context. Her presentation highlighted the importance of fostering meaningful collaborations to enhance the impact of NTD research.

“Fostering collaborations and partnerships is essential for unlocking Africa’s research potential.”

“By addressing challenges, leveraging opportunities, and implementing best practices, the continent can drive meaningful scientific advancements and contribute to global innovation,” she said.

Furthermore, the function of leadership and its influence on the progress in NTD research was expounded exclusively.  

Dr. Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah, Scientific Officer for the ARNTD, shared insights on the vital role mentorship plays in the early career of NTD researchers.

He said, “A leader needs to know what motivates his team.

“They must understand the three elements that win people over. The ‘logos’, ‘ethos’ and ‘pathos’”.

Dr. Afum-Adjei Awuah explained that the clarity of a leader’s message, their credibility and emotional intelligence, are essential to effective leadership in research.

He continued, “The greatest form of leadership is self-governance. This self-governance is often achieved with discipline and discipleship.”

Emphasizing the need to learn from experienced mentors, Dr. Afum-Adjei Awuah underlined the pitfalls to avoid and the invaluable lessons that can be gained from mentorship. “Leadership, both in research and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization to lead, influence or guide other individuals, teams or entire organizations.”

KCCR / ASAAP Newsletters

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