Future Africa, the pan-African platform for collaborative research at the University of Pretoria, has joined the steering committee to implement the Africa Charter for Transformative Research Collaborations. The charter, launched in July 2023, aims to redress entrenched power imbalances in global knowledge production and foster more equitable and impactful research partnerships between Africa and the rest of the world.
“We are excited to join the steering committee for the Africa Charter for Transformative Research Collaborations,” said Dr Farai Kapfudzaruwa, Research and Strategic Partnerships Manager at Future Africa. “This charter is a critical step towards ensuring that African researchers have a seat at the table when it comes to global knowledge production. Future Africa’s extensive networks, expertise, and commitment to transformative research make us a natural partner for this important initiative.”
The charter was endorsed by the University of Pretoria in a statement delivered by Professor Sunil Maharaj, Vice-principal: Research, Innovation & Postgraduate education. “The charter is valuable to the University of Pretoria and the African continent for several reasons,” said Professor Maharaj. “Firstly, it sheds light on the entrenched practices and processes which affect global south researchers participating in international collaborations. Secondly, it gives a collective voice to the African continent in engagements with the global north to transform global partnerships. Lastly, it provides a shared framework and guidance to address the imbalances in global partnerships.”
The charter is an initiative facilitated by the Perivoli Africa Research Centre, in partnership with the University of South Africa Chief Albert Luthuli Research Chair and the University of Cape Town Institute for Humanities in Africa. It has been endorsed by a wide range of African universities and research institutions, as well as by international organizations such as the African Academy of Sciences and the International Network for Higher Education in Africa.
The charter sets out a number of key objectives, including:
- Creating a radically new approach to research collaboration that redresses deep-seated divides in the generation of scientific knowledge.
- Championing this reformed equitable way of working as standard and best practice.
- Introducing an Africa-centred framework setting out guiding principles and measures of success and accountability.
The charter is still in its early stages of implementation, but it has the potential to usher in a new era of impactful research collaborations that advance knowledge, foster innovation, and contribute significantly to addressing pressing challenges facing Africa and the world.
Click here to access the Charter.