Official Launching of the Poverty Related Diseases College (PRD College) An International Programme in Biomedicine and Development

The PRD College an International Programme in Biomedicine and Development was created to bridge the gap between the biological sciences, health and development in Africa. It educates young African and European scientists to perform research on poverty related diseases (PRD) such as HIV/Aids, Malaria, Tuberculosis as well as other neglected and non-communicable diseases and applying them with relevance to sustainable development.

PRD College was launched on Monday 17 July 2009 at the University of Yaoundé I. The official launching ceremony was placed under the patronages of the Ministers of Higher Education and Public Health. Representing the Ministers of Higher Education, the Rector of the University of Yaoundé I, welcomed the initiative and used that opportunity to announce the creation of an office for EU grants administration and professional promotion for the University. He lauded the common traits between the PRD College and recent prescriptions of the Head of State President Paul Biya on operations of Higher Education. He promised to support the above actions as well as those for the creation of FP7 Contact Points in Cameroon.

Among other officials present were the representative of the Ambassador of the European Commission in Cameroon, the representative of the WHO-WR, Cameroon, the Technical Adviser to the Prime Minister on Higher Education and the Inspector General at the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovations.

PRD College is coordinated at the University of Yaoundé I, by Prof. Wilfred Mbacham in cooperation with other African institutions such as: Makerere University (Uganda), International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (South Africa), Tropical Disease Research Center (Zambia), Mbeya Medical Research Programme (Tanzania).

Collaboration in Europe is assured by partners at Stockholm University (Sweden), Max Planck Institute (Germany), National Research Council (Italy), Academic Medical Center Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Go Africa (Germany).
The College is co-financed by the European Commission, Directorate General for Research under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7). This is the main EU funding instrument for international research and PRD College is the first initiative under the Health theme to be coordinated by an African institution.

PRD College enables African researchers to be at the forefront of competitive modern science by stimulating early collaboration through synergy building. By placing science within the context of development, the impact targets on improving professional career development as well as increasing the impact of research for health on development.

24 advanced PhD Students or Post-Docs from Africa and Europe will participate through three intensive training courses to be organized at the PRD Centers in Uganda, South Africa and Cameroon. Furthermore PRD College funds a Science Exchange Programme in Europe and Internships at African research and development institutions. The call for applications for the PRD College will be published in September 2009 on www.prd-college.eu