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Ghanaian epidemiologist chosen to lead African research alliance

Image: ARUA

John Owusu Gyapong will succeed Ernest Aryeetey as Arua secretary-general from mid-2024

The African Research Universities Alliance has elected John Owusu Gyapong, a Ghanaian epidemiologist, as its next secretary-general.

The election took place during Arua’s biennial conference and board meeting at the University of Lagos in Nigeria from 14 to 17 November.

Gyapong, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana, will take over from Ernest Aryeetey as the head of the 16-university alliance at the end of July 2024.

Prior to his vice-chancellorship, Gyapong held various leadership roles at universities in Ghana and in the US, where he is currently a visiting professor at Georgetown University.

Board leaders

The meeting also elected a chair and vice-chair of Arua’s governing board.

Sizwe Mabizela, vice-chancellor of Rhodes University in South Africa, will be the body’s next chair. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana, will be his deputy.

The pair will take up their roles from January 2024. Mabizela, who is currently vice-chair of the board, will succeed Barnabas Nawangwe, vice-chancellor of Makerere University in Uganda.

London collaboration

Last week’s Arua meeting also saw the body sign an agreement with the University of London in the UK to collaborate on research and graduate training.

Presenting the partnership to Arua’s board, University of London vice-chancellor Wendy Thomson said it would aim to help boost Africa’s proportional contribution to global research.

The University of London is a federation of 17 higher education institutions in the UK capital, serving over 200,000 students in London as well as 45,000 distance learners in more than 180 countries worldwide.

Thomson said that 4,000 Africans based around the continent are currently studying at the institution.