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CARTA helps African researchers to network

Updated: 12 December 2014

16 African universities and research institutes have come together under the name CARTA to offer a world class doctoral education. This year, the first generation of students are graduated. “We have become one big family”, says doctor Sulaimon Adedokun.

Infant mortality has been halved since 1990. But some countries still have a long way to go. Like Nigeria, where every sixth child dies before the age of five. The problem is related to poverty, but what is the effect of not involving men in health work? This is one of the questions that interest Sulaimon Adedokun, who recently received his doctor’s hat.

Sulaimon Adedokun is one of twenty doctoral students to graduate in the first CARTA cohort. The programme is a collaboration between nine universities and seven research institutes in Africa. Each year a four week course is held at one of the member cities. They get advanced training in references, statistics software, research methods, writing reports for academic journals, and much more.

– CARTA is incomparable in terms of quality, network and possibilities. They bring experts and professionals from different fields to serve as facilitators for a whole month. The program brings fellows from different parts of Africa together. Where else could one get such a package? asks Sulaimon Adedokun.

Belonging to a larger research network is important for several reasons. Firstly, collaboration is important for personal reasons.

– Doctoral studies can be a lonely journey. I was keen to join a cohort of fellows who was going through the same trials, but also to take part in the resources CARTA made available to us, says newly graduated Nicole De Wet.

But contact with colleagues and the exchange of ideas are also important for research. And without knowledge of the work of colleagues, it is difficult to keep your own research relevant. The possibility for collaboration is another of CARTA’s strengths.

– Despite the fact that we are from different regions of Africa and from different socio-cultural background, we relate like one big family. Such relationship has resulted into collaboration. In fact, I am presently collaborating with another fellow from Rwanda, says Sulaimon Adedokun.

The next step is to secure financing for his research. Most of all, he would like to collaborate with the colleagues he has gotten to know. Furthermore, he wants his research to be of use to others.

– I want to use what i learned from CARTA to develop my university, and become a good mentor for my students.

Swedish support to CARTA

The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) was founded in 2008 on the initiative from the mother organization African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). CARTA is an international health research and education initiative consisting of nine universities and four research institutes in Africa. The main office is located in Nairobi, Kenya.

The purpose of CARTA is to strengthen national research capacity at African universities in order to meet the demand for local knowledge and research on prioritized health areas. Among other things, they offer research training for doctoral students.

Swedish support to CARTA goes through APHRC and amounts to 38.2 million SEK for the period 2012-2015.


Page owner: Department for Africa

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