What is AfriPEN?

The Africa Interprofessional Education Network (AfrIPEN) is a consensus-based partnership between various institutions and individual with the vision to establish interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPE) as integral part in training the health workforce and in the effective functioning of systems for health in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The mission of AfrIPEN is to advocate for, collaborate on, promote and share good practice of IPE in Sub-Saharan Africa.

AfrIPEN aims to:

  1. Recruit and mobilise policy makers, professional bodies, institutional leadership, faculty, service providers, funders and other stakeholders to advance IPE in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. Collaborate in identifying, developing, adapting and sharing IPE resources for the Sub-Saharan African context.
  3. Utilise relevant global, regional and national networks and platforms to create an awareness of and mobilisation around IPE.
  4. Advocate for and facilitate the inclusion of IPE into scopes of practice of all professions represented in the workforce for health in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  5. Advocate for and facilitate the integration of interprofessional collaborative competencies into health workforce curricula offered by higher education institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  6. Advocate for, promote and facilitate the cultivation of IPE values and competencies among faculty, preceptors, health and social care workers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  7. Participate in international networks informing best practice models including, but not limited, to the All Together Better Health World Coordinating Committee, the World Health Organization, the Global Research Interprofessional Network, In-2-Theory, etc.
  8. Conduct collaborative research to inform IPE in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The following priorities were agreed upon:

  1. Develop AfrIPEN’s organisational capacity and structure
  2. Conduct a survey on what Institutions have available on IPE and what is needed regarding IPE
  3. Compile a collection of our IPE stories from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. Produce generic IPE policies and guidelines that can be adapted by various authorities to promote and endorse IPE
  5. Create a web-based platform to share IPE learning and teaching resources
  6. Develop short course for IPE facilitators
  7. Develop a collaborative research framework and grant application(s) for AfrIPEN
  8. Contribute to a themed edition on IPE in Sub-Saharan Africa for the Journal of Interprofessional Care

Five Working Groups are collaborating on plans to realise these priorities (See projects).



AfrIPEN was formed in 2015 at the Towards Unity for Health conference in Johannesburg (South Africa) following an exploratory process by involving:

  • Towards Unity for Health Interprofessional Working Group
  • WHO Initiative on transformative scale-up of health professional education
  • In-2-Theory Network
  • Global Research Interprofessional Network (GRIN)
  • Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum for the Innovation in Health Professions Education
  • ‘Next-Step’ project funded by the Finnish Government (“Ndola Group”)
  • Consortium of New Southern African Medical School (CONSAMS)
  • The South African Association of Health Educationists (SAAHE)
  • Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
  • Medical and Dental Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa

In 2016 the AfrIPEN had a strategic planning workshop where our priorities were determined and plans made to address the priorities. ask teams were forms to collaborate on the various plans. Join a task team.

In 2017 a Collaborative Research Workshop was held in Windhoek (Namibia), attended by representatives from the various member institutions. The workshop was followed by the First Symposium for Interprofessional Education in Africa.

In 2019 (Nairobi, Kenya from 30 July to 2 August 2019) the Second Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice for Africa conference provides an opportunity for participants to discuss ideas and devise and test strategies to mobilise concerted action to improve health and wellbeing for individuals, families and communities across Africa. The conference is driven by the conviction that concerted action to improve working together will effect change, enhance quality of care, ensure safety, and optimise deployment of human resources on the continent. The conference is a collaboration between AfrIPEN, Africa Interprofessional Education Network (AfrIPEN), Sigma Theta Tau’s International Tau Lambda at Large Chapter , the WHO-FIC Collaborating Centre for the African region and Amref University.