Intended for healthcare professionals


Addressing inequalities in research capacity in Africa

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 29 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:705
  1. Jimmy Volmink, professor and chair of primary health care (,
  2. Lola Dare, chief executive officer
  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Center for Health Sciences Training, Research, and Development International, Ibadan, Nigeria

    All sides in partnerships must ensure that research aims to improve the health of all

    This special theme issue includes a feast of high quality papers by African researchers on a range of topics of great relevance to health and health care in Africa. Despite our best efforts we did not achieve the geographical spread of submissions that we hoped for, mostly because we receive articles from authors in only a few African countries. We do not know the extent to which this reflects lack of research capacity or whether the prevailing political, social, and economic conditions in these countries militate against meaningful research. Whatever the reasons, the dearth of research done in Africa for Africa is untenable.

    Research capacity—comprising the institutional and regulatory frameworks, infrastructure, investment, and sufficiently skilled people to conduct and publish research—varies widely across African countries. In a report to the World Bank that ranked countries according to …

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