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Discovery & Development Drug Discovery, Trends & Forecasts

Dispelling the (African) Myth

When you think of Africa, what comes to mind?

Perhaps, you view the continent as the next frontier in the global economy. Or perhaps, the high morbidity and mortality rates dictate your point of view; the massive disease burden has made some believe that the continent is more suitable for providing candidates for clinical trials rather than leading them. It is true that historically, Africa has lacked the infrastructure, trained staff and enabling technologies to contribute to the global drug discovery and development sectors, with the continent importing up to 70 percent of its drug products (1). There are many working tirelessly to change the perceptions of the continent, but people who view Africa through the Western gaze must be willing to take the opportunity to see the ways that Africa is, and will continue to be, a source of healthcare and pharmaceutical innovation in order for the negative stereotypes to be broken down.

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About the Author

Kelly Chibale

Founder and Director of the Drug Discovery & Development Center (H3D), The University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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