Universities resolve to form an African Consortium of Biomedical Engineering


ECA Press Release 134/2012

Kampala, 9 August 2012 (ECA) - The Vice Chancellors, Principals, Deans and senior lecturers drawn from universities participating in the first Biomedical Engineering “Innovators Summer School for 2012” resolved to form an African Consortium of Biomedical Engineering. The decision was arrived at a meeting held on the sidelines of the 6-9 August, Innovators Summer School - an initiative supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

According to Mr. Victor Konde, Scientific Affairs Officer at the ECA, “the nine universities participating in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) initiative have different levels of human capital, research and training facilities and curriculum development.” This, he says, presents many opportunities for exchange of staff, students, researchers and teaching and learning resources.

In this regard, the African Biomedical Engineering Consortium (ABEC) will to facilitate the exchange of information; harmonize training and research programmes; and ensure quality of BME university programmes at member institutions.

Specifically, ABEC will create a network of Biomedical Engineering experts – with the participating universities as the founding members; develop a website to facilitate sharing of information, training materials and research programmes as well as promote open innovation. The Consortium will also facilitate and coordinate the training of trainers; promote student and staff exchange among the participating institutions; and promote teaching and research excellence, and quality assurance. It also aims to bring on board industry and public partners and will encourage sharing of e-library resources and create awareness of its activities.

The representatives of the participating universities at the meeting became the first members of the Consortium.

At the same meeting, Kenyatta University offered to host the 2013 Innovators Summer School and a coordinating committee composed of representatives of University of Nairobi and Moi University was constituted.



The Summer School is one of the main components of the Engineering Expertise Improved Healthcare in Africa, a project that is implemented by the ECA with the financial support of the Republic of Korea and technical support of LEED at Boston University. Additional components of the project include Biomedical Engineering (BME) curriculum development, International Design Competition and Training of Technicians and Professionals. The programme was launched in April 2011.

Currently, there are six universities participating in the initiative: Addis Ababa University, Kenyatta University, Kyambogo University, Makerere University, University of Malawi, University of Nairobi and University of Zambia. Participating for the first time were Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Moi University. A number of support institutions are involved, including the Uganda Industrial Research Institute, National Technology Business Centre (Zambia), Cape Town University, Stellenbosch University and the Medical Research Council of South Africa.


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© 2012 Economic Commission for Africa