Program Coordinator - Africa Oxford Initiative
Nuffield Department of Medicine
Tell us a bit about your role
I am responsible for developing and implementing the overall strategy of the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx), fundraising to sustain the program as well as managing the core AfOx programs. AfOx seeks to make Africa a strategic priority for Oxford not simply on the grounds of good global citizenship but especially because Africa is the most rapidly changing continent whose future demographic and economic growth will have a major influence globally.
AfOx facilitates academic and research partnerships by supporting a wide range of activities including a travel grant scheme and visiting fellowships for African academics, supporting high quality research engagement meetings and providing financial, academic and mentorship support to African students and research staff in Oxford. I am therefore in a good position to support the global partnerships that characterise most of the research in Medical Sciences.
What is the most meaningful aspect of your work?
Shifting perspectives and attitudes towards African research and changing the culture of research by taking a more equitable, sustainable and people-centred approach.
Can you tell us about something you've done, contributed to that you're most proud of?
I’m proud of AfOx’s achievements within the University and with our partners across 30 African countries, especially our most recent scholarships scheme. We have an ambitious and justified aim to increase the number of African graduates from 3 to 10% at Oxford. The AfOx Graduate Scholarships aim to support a culture-shifting number of scholars to build a cohort of emerging African leaders and translate their experiences and passion into practical ways of addressing some of the most pressing challenges in Africa. The program touches on all aspects of student experience; from increasing the quantity, quality and diversity of African applications to creating a conducive and supportive environment for African students. This will allow them to thrive and be at the their best while at Oxford as well supporting their dreams to transform Africa after their time in Oxford. We have a fantastic first cohort of 6 students this year and are excited to be welcoming the next cohort of 10 students in the next academic year.
I am very grateful for the support we have received across the university for the scheme and I’m very excited about the future!
What changes would you most like to see in the Medical Sciences in the next 100 years?
I hope to see a more diverse leadership/management team that is truly reflective of the breath and depth of our global partnerships. I do hope the Division can be at the centre of the University’s drive towards racial equality as our work (especially in Tropical Medicine) is predicated on racial justice.