The Africa Ethics Working Group (AEWG): a model of collaboration for psychiatric genomic research in Africa
Kamuya D., Bitta MA., Addissie A., Naanyu V., Palk A., Mwaka E., Kamaara E., Tadele G., Wolde TT., Nakigudde J., Manku K., Musesengwa R., Singh I.
The Africa Ethics Working Group (AEWG) is a South-South-North collaboration of bioethics and mental health researchers from sub-Saharan Africa, working to tackle emerging ethical challenges in global mental health research. Initially formed to provide ethical guidance for a neuro-psychiatric genomics research project, AEWG has evolved to address cross cutting ethical issues in mental health research aimed at addressing equity in North-South collaborations. Global South refers to economically developing countries (sub-Saharan Africa in this context) and Global North to economically developed countries (primarily Europe, UK and North America). In this letter we discuss lessons that as a group we have learnt over the last three years; lessons that similar collaborations could draw on. With increasing expertise from Global South as an outcome of several capacity strengthening initiatives, it is expected that the nature of scientific collaborations will shift to a truly equitable partnership. The AEWG provides a model to rethink contributions that each partner could make in these collaborations.