The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) officially opened two parallel training sessions for its Cohort 2 and Cohort 5 Fellows at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya on 2nd March 2015. CARTA Fellows undergo residential trainings known as the Joint Advanced Seminars (JAS). The JAS are offered in four parts namely; JAS-1, JAS-2, JAS-3 and JAS-4 each of which lasts about one month.
The current training is for JAS 1 and JAS 4. Cohort 5 Fellows are currently undertaking JAS-1 while Cohort 2 Fellows are undertaking JAS-4. JAS-1, being the first in the four-part training series, is offered to CARTA Fellows in their first year of the program while JAS-4 is offered to Fellows in their last year of the program.
“Africa is waiting and ready for PhDs, CARTA is preparing them,” remarked Prof. Anne Nangulu, Deputy Commission Secretary at the Commission for University Education in Kenya and the CARTA Focal Person at Moi University. Prof Nangulu was the Chief Guest at the opening of the seminars. “CARTA Program offers quality enhancement to the PhDs attained by its Fellows and thus is the bridge to quality PhDs for Africa,” she added.
The JAS model by CARTA is uniquely structured and is residential. This way, students attending the seminars are able to remain true to the program tasks, learn collaboratively, interact with local and international facilitators, and develop and consolidate professional networks.
“CARTA was created to deliver quality training to African students in population and health research. This was at a time when many African institutions were facing various challenges in delivering high quality training and retention of the best brains in Africa,” posed Alex Ezeh.
The focus on training African researchers in Africa is in line with CARTA’s model which aims at retaining the researchers in the continent. These experts will be able to address the existing health challenges in Africa.
The consortium brings together the best of the institutions around the continent and beyond to train and mentor students. This is evident by the recent ranking of universities done by Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, where 2 out of 9 universities forming the consortium were ranked number 5 and 7 in Africa.