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One major obstacle newly qualified African PhD holders face is to find opportunities to continue their research. To help overcome this, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, part of the University of Ghana in Accra, has established a one-year postdoctoral programme for Africa’s next generation of medical research leaders.

The idea is to equip them with the skills they need to face the challenges of doing research on the continent, especially in the field of infectious diseases. The programme’s fellows come from a variety of Sub-Saharan African nations.

In this film, Ben Adu Gyan, an immunology researcher at the institute, explains why the programme is so important.  Postdoc fellow Joseph Mwanzia Nguta from Kenya talks about his research into the antituberculosis properties of various plants traditionally used in Ghana to treat respiratory problems. His research in this neglected field has led to some exciting discoveries. Nguta also explains why postdoc programmes are so vital if African scientists are going to be able to compete globally.

This is part of the Africa’s PhD Renaissance series funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.