At the IAMP General Assembly in Beijing in 2006, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Académie de Médecine proposed the Scientific Writing Programme.The aim was to organize a series of workshops for young scientists and clinicians to help maximize the accuracy and impact of their written documents in order to increase scientific publication and enhance their fund-raising effort.
It was felt that there was a need to evaluate and draft a comprehensive proposal for African academies. However, the problems that interfere in the drafting of manuscripts submitted for publication in scientific journals by Anglophone and Francophone Africans are different.
In October 2006, the first workshop was held in Nairobi at the AAS with the participation of clinicians from the East African region, namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. A second workshop was hosted by the Academy of Sciences of South Africa in Pretoria in March 2008, with participants from Lesotho, Botswana , Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mauritius , and South Africa . Participants were mainly from Anglophone countries.
The Senegal Academy of Science and Technology has hosted 2 workshops for participants mainly from Francophone Africa such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal itself.
After 5 years of this programme the thinking within the IAMP is that a need continues to be very present for this kind of training. However there is a lot of doubt whether this is the specific role that IAMP should be playing , i.e training clinicians, or whether IAMP should not be empowering academies to do this within their own organization.
The programme is now moving in two directions, one based at the Academy of Sciences of South Africa and the other that continues to be lead by the Académie de Médecine alongside the Senegal Academie of Science and Technology.
The “Anglophone” proposal aims to explore the sustainability of the initiative. In August 2008, ASSAf organised a national workshop to determine the feasibility of establishing an online scientific writing platform. Since then a national panel of experts has been constituted to look at the matter nationally. The outcome of the discussions by the national experts is the four-tier scientific writing proposal. Please see the new Online Scientific Writing website based at the ASSAf.
International working group on scientific writing
in Francophone Africa. (Paris, June 2011)
The “Francophone “ proposal aims to assist member academies in creating Regional “Writing Centres” in non-English-speaking countries. The first proposed candidate is the Senegal National of Science and Technology (ANSTS) for Francophone countries.