Prof. Gyapong joins EDCTP Association Board

From left : Dr Mark Palmer, EDCTP General Assembly Chairperson, Prof. John Gyapong, representative in the EDCTP Association for Ghana, and Prof. Charles Mgone, Executive Director of EDCTP

Prof. John Gyapong, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, has been selected to join the Board of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) at a recent meeting of the EDCTP General Assembly held in the Hague, Netherlands. The other members of the Board include Dr Mark Palmer (United Kingdom, Chairperson), Dr Detlef Böcking (Germany, Vice-Chair), Professor Stefano Vella (Italy, vice-chair), and Professor Francine Ntoumi (Congo).

The meeting saw eight African and eight European countries formalize their participation in the second programme of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) as their representatives signed the documents of the EDCTP Association. The direct and full participation of African countries in the governance and the execution of the programme is a historic step for EDCTP, an African and European partnership to fight poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases. All participating States have voting rights in the EDCTP General Assembly, the ultimate and exclusive decision making body of the EDCTP.

All clinical trial activities supported by the EDCTP programme take place in Africa. Therefore, it is of crucial importance for EDCTP to have a governance and management structure in place that respects and practically implements African co-ownership as well as the European partnership and input. This approach recognises the considerable input from sub-Saharan African institutions, communities and ministries to EDCTP activities. It also recognises the ultimate authority over these activities of the governments that represent the populations which take part in the research and who should benefit from its results.

The Executive Director of EDCTP, Professor Charles S. Mgone, noted that granting full membership of EDCTP to African countries opens a new chapter in the partnership and will certainly enhance co-ownership of the programme and increase political and financial commitment.

According to Professor John Gyapong, this is a great opportunity for African countries to participate in a laudable initiative, adding that he is satisfied about the inclusion in the programme of the neglected infectious diseases. He said, as full members, African countries can participate actively in advancing knowledge to curb the poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases that plague most sub-Saharan African countries.

The nine African countries that individually will become full members of the partnership are: Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Zambia is expected to sign soon. Care will be taken to ensure that the voices of countries that are not directly represented will also be heard. The EDCTP Association governance also allows participation by a group of African countries. Additionally, several African regional organisations have representatives in the General Assembly with observer status.

The 14 European countries to participate in EDCTP2 are Austria, Denmark, Finland (new member), France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. France and United Kingdom signed earlier in April while Austria and Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Sweden are expected to sign soon.


EDCTP General Assembly members in a group photograph