Eko’ni baje: Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the IPSF African Regional Office
By Aniekan Ekpenyong.
7th AfPS will take place from 17th to 22nd June
If you ask a mother what makes her most grateful, she is likely to tell you when she gave birth to her first child or when her child was 10. Age 10 signifies a steady progress from childhood to adolescence. It is usually a moment that calls for celebrations. You can only imagine the joy of mother IPSF.
The IPSF African Regional Office also known as IPSF AfRO was birthed in August, 2008 at the IPSF General Assembly in Cluj-Napoca, Romania to allow for the decentralization of the Federation into regions. Creation was aimed at extension of the work the Federation was doing in public health, professional development and advocacy, providing a region-specific approach. The creation of the African regional office followed that of the Asia Pacific and Pan American regional offices in 1999.
The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) is the oldest faculty-based organization founded in 1949 and represents over 320,000 individuals in more than 80 countries with more than 100 different representative pharmacy students association. The federation is engaged in pharmacy education, public health, professional development, advocacy, cultural awareness and partnerships developing pharmacists worldwide. The federation aims to provide opportunities for professional development, education and international exchange, advocates for improvements to pharmaceutical education strategies and health systems as well as present a platform for member organizations to exchange knowledge, experience and ideas. Activities organized by IPSF include world congresses, regional symposia and different projects in public health, professional development and student exchanges.
From being a region with less than 5 countries in the early 2000s, AfRO has grown to accommodate members from more than 18 countries with representation from all regions of Africa, excluding North Africa. Currently, members include Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso (West Africa), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (East and Central Africa), South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia (Southern Africa)
The region has engaged in numerous projects and activities since its inception, advancing the aims of the federation while providing an avenue for networking between members. Amongst the many achievements recorded by the federation include the 62nd IPSF World Congress held in Zimbabwe and the 2017 World Health Scientific Symposium in Kigali, Rwanda which all turned out to be a huge success. Typical projects engaged in are student exchanges, public health campaigns and professional development events such as the Trainers Development Camp (TDC) and the Leaders-in-training LIT event. Every year, the region organizes the African Pharmaceutical Symposium (AfPS). The AfPS was first hosted in 2012 at Algiers, Algeria. Subsequently, the event has been hosted in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya and Ghana.
The African Pharmaceutical Symposium (AfPS) brings together pharmacy students and recent graduates from all over Africa in an African city for about a week. The delegates engage in educational and scientific symposia, workshops, industrial visits, public health campaigns around the host city and a great variety of social and cultural events. The 7th AfPS which would be held in the city of Lagos is hosted by the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS) and aims to unite both old and new IPSFers in a spectacular reunion party, provide a forum where the future of the region can be discussed and offer valuable mentorship opportunities for young pharmacy leaders across Africa. It promises to be a fulfilling and rewarding time of learning and networking as it blends the traditional approach to the AfPS with the exciting anniversary celebrations. The event also serves as a unique opportunity to discover LAGOS, the largest megacity and the 4th largest economy in Africa. From the hustling and bustling of day time activities to the bliss of night time, the city has everything it takes to deliver that spectacular Nigerian feel you have always been expecting.
Everyone on the Reception Committee led by Ms. Akudo Alli is all ready to provide an unforgettable experience. I am excited and only counting months left to being a part of this unique gathering of IPSFers from all over Africa and beyond. It would be a history making event!
Wouldn’t you rather feel the Naija spirit with us this year?
Eko’ni baje! (Welcome to Lagos) and Feel the #9jaSpirit