Objectives

The overall goals of the AfSHG are capacity building and networking. These would be achieved through the following specific objectives:

1.  Information Dissemination: The workshops will provide a forum for the presentation of information in the form of lectures from academic and commercial experts.  These experts would update topics of interest to members of the society, and review the progress of biomedical science and technology around the world.

2.  Establish Mentor Network and Educational Resources: The AfSHG will cultivate interest in investigative science and encourage the participation of African undergraduate and graduate students as well as others wishing to pursue careers related to human genetics and biomedical sciences in general.

3.  Genetic Advocacy: The AfSHG will give voice to the cause of human genetics in Africa. It will interface with policymakers, the media, and the public to help reduce fears and concerns surrounding genetics research.  AfSHG will accept the challenge to facilitate the conduct of genetics researches that are ethical, legal, moral and culturally acceptable. Opportunity will also be made available to social scientists to explore the ethical and other socio-cultural issues that influence human genetics research and the dissemination of information from such research.

4.  Appropriate Technology Transfer: The AfSHG will sponsor recombinant DNA technology modules and related modules so that members and affiliates may have practical experience with these technologies.  Sponsorship will be solicited to undertake specific programs that would aid the transfer of appropriate and relevant technologies.

5.  Development of online courses: Members of the Society will be responsible for developing on-line courses for fellowships/affiliations between African, American and European universities and assist members and affiliates with access to the internet and undertake other programs that will provide a bridge over the widening North-South divide in biomedical science and technology.  The Society will facilitate the participation of African scientists in the annual meetings of the American Society of Human Genetics.

6.  African Journal of Human Genetics (Af J Hum Gen): There will be a Journal with two sections containing research reports and extensive reviews of topics of interest that would supplement information available in textbooks and other resources which are often scarce in many African institutions.

7.  Encourage Collaborative Research: The Society will encourage and enhance collaborative research, which is currently responsible for 50% of the productivity of the African scientific community (Jaffe, 2003).  It will bring together foreign scientists working in Africa, institutions with interest in Africa and African investigators to present information about patient populations, databases and technologies that would generate collaborative research. In addition to providing greater opportunities for research and exploration of genetics, courses in successful grant writing will be made available.  Applications for research grants and information about research sponsors would also be available as will training in clinical research methods, data management and manuscript development.