News in Brief - May 2018

TIBA AGM in Durban, South Africa

The major highlight of May 2018 was the gathering of all TIBA partners and stakeholders at our first Annual General Meeting in Durban, South Africa. Our partners at the University of KwaZulu-Natal led by Professor Moses Chimbari successfully hosted the first event in Durban, 29-31 May 2018. This meeting was attended by the TIBA Directorate, Staff, Country Principal Investigators and Students, and Stakeholders. The stakeholders included the eThekwini Municipality Health Unit, KwaZulu Natal Department of Health, Traditional Leadership from the Ingwavuma Area in uMkhanyakude District, UKZN Leadership, University of Edinburgh Philanthropy Team, World Health Organization (WHO), African Academy of Science (AAS) and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) among others.

A group photo of participants at the AGM in Durban.

The purpose of the meeting was to get feedback on Rapid Impact projects by Principal Investigators (PIs); feedback on progress of TIBA by the External Advisory Group (EAG); approval of the Making a Difference projects; significant pledges by funding agencies and philanthropists; renewed endorsement of TIBA activities by international organizations who are the custodians of health and human wellbeing.

Prof Malegapuru William Makgoba, Ombudsman of the Health opened the session with a keynote address delivered by Professor Salim Karim, Director CAPRISA. Watch a 2 minute highlight of the 3-day event from this link.

Our postgraduates presented posters of their research for which awards were given to 3 winners; Kennedy Mwai of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust, Felix Ansah of the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology in Infectious Pathogen (WACCBIP) and Hlengiwe Soloco from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. For their prizes, Hlengiwe gets to attend a conference of her choice in South Africa; Felix can attend a conference of his choice anywhere in Africa and Kennedy gets the ultimate to attend a scientific conference of his choice anywhere in the world. Congratulations to you all and we look forward to more exciting science in Ghana.

Postgraduate poster winners (L-R): Felix Ansah, Hlengiwe Soloco and Kennedy Mwai.

We are very grateful to the organising committee and everyone who contributed to the success of #tibaAGM. It was announced that Ghana will be host to the next event in September 2019.

TIBA South Africa AGM Organising Committee.

EAG membership

The TIBA Directorate had the pleasure to welcome 2 new members of our External Advisory Group, Dr Rufaro Chatora, former country representative of the WHO, South Africa and Dr Janet Byaruhanga of the NEPAD Agency. They both attended the 1st TIBA AGM in Durban in May. Both are distinguished members of the global health community in Africa and we welcome their contributions to strengthening TIBA’s mandate.

Dr Janet Byaruhanga and Dr Rufaro Chatora at the AGM in Durban.

New Partners – BITRI and IBM Africa

We were delighted to formally welcome Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation as our new partner. Projects at BITRI will be led by Dr Ignatius Matsheka who was present at the AGM.

Dr Ignatius Matsheka at the AGM in Durban.

On the industrial front IBM Research Africa became the latest partner to the growing number of industry players collaborating with TIBA. IBM will offer space for research and collaboration to TIBA researchers and students to participate in their internship programmes at their Nairobi and Johannesburg offices. We hope that many of you will take advantage of this opportunity.