[Copied from HIFA forum, http://www.hifa.org/forums/hifa-healthcare-information-all]
Back in (I think) 2003 WHO’s Tropical Disease Research Programme, recognised that African medical and scientific publishing was in the doldrums and took the initiative to establish the Forum of African Medical Editors (FAME). I recall attending the inaugural meeting. There was a lot of enthusiasm, quite a bit of training, but alas the one thing that was really needed was absent… money! But FAME was a valuable rallying point, bringing mentoring and focus to an important area, and providing much promise for the future.
But this focus proved to also be its downfall. Someone somewhere had the bright idea of twinning a number of leading journals in Africa with leading journals internationally. An application went in to the The Fogarty International Center (part of the National Institues of Health) and the African Journal Partnership Project was borne.
Inadvertently it cherry picked some of the brightest and best from Africa, which removed the femurs of FAME … and that organisation floundered thereafter.
But while AJPP continues to prosper, albeit only with a limited number of journal links, the rest of Africa’s medical publications remain very much on their own.
Bryan Pearson is the editor of Africa Health