The IBRO Africa Regional Committee (ARC) held its first Global Advocacy Workshop for neuroscience in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on September 4-5, 2014 under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency the President of the DRC, Joseph Kabila.
The workshop was initiated by Sten Grillner, IBRO Secretary-General, and organized by Pierre Luabeya, IBRO-ARC Chair, as part of the IBRO Global Advocacy Initiative launched in 2012 by a collaboration of leading neuroscience societies including IBRO, the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), the Dana Foundation, the International Society of Neurochemistry (ISN), the Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS) and the Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS).
The aim of the Kinshasa workshop was to increase understanding, communication and support for research on major neurological diseases currently affecting Africans by engaging policymakers, private sector leaders, academics, NGO representatives and other interested stakeholders in joint discussions.
Diseases such as epilepsy, konzo and neurolathyrism that have not been well understood nor accepted as underlying causes of disability in Africa were featured topics. Speakers included H.E. Maker Mwangu Famba, Minister of Education of the DRC, Monseigneur Tshibangu Tshishiku Tharcisse, Chancellor of the DRC University System, Prof. Muyembe Tamfum, Director of the DRC National Institute for Biomedical Research, representatives from FAO, WHO, Wellcome Trust and Nestlé as well as distinguished researchers from eight African countries.
Workshop participants turned the spotlight on brain research in Africa and its fundamental importance for the welfare not only for African citizens but also for the global population. It also established a valuable model for subsequent global advocacy workshops on neuroscience and will provide a platform for designing an advocacy grant program tailored to regional needs. To view the full agenda, please click on the link below: