African Interprofessional Education Network


AfrIPEN is a consensus-based partnership advocating for the establishment of interprofessional education and collaborative practice as an integral part of mainstream health professions education. Established in 2015, the brings together individuals, organisations, ministries, and regulatory bodies related to interprofessional education. Since then, the organisation has grown through leaps and bounds to include membership across various institutions and countries in the continent and abroad.


Dr Gerard Filies is the current Chairperson of the AfrIPEN board. There are currently over 70 members from various regions of the continent that represent the AfrIPEN working groups. An executive committee that supports the operationalisation of the AfrIPEN meets regularly and is inclusive of the Chair, the deputy Chair, the Treasurer, Secretary, and a Co-opted member. This committee is responsible for the day to day running of the network.


The following main activities have been conducted from 2019-2023:

  • A quarterly AfrIPEN newsletter that showcases IPE events in the continent 
  • Virtual capacity development activities, in collaboration with the Dirisana+ Project, have featured local and global colleagues who speak about IPE
  • Student IPE learning activities were conducted in collaboration with University of the Western Cape and Afri-VIPE
  • The 3rd and 4th AfrIPEN conferences were successfully hosted through a virtual platform and in Blantyre, Malawi, respectively
  • Increased membership totals and potential partnerships across key players and organisations on the African continent
  • Improved social media presence by regularly posting on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles


AfriPEN’s focus areas for the period 2023–2025 will include:

  • IPECP resource development through the creation of a repository for IPE activities, resources, and artifacts on the AfrIPEN website
  • Student development activities that promote inter-institutional sharing of knowledge
  • Capacity development for staff
  • Participate in capacity development activities hosted by IP.G to promote the implementation of policies in Africa
  • Communicate with the global IPE community through our media and marketing 
  • The establishment of a Malawi University working group

The AfrIPEN People

  • Gerard Fillies, University of the Western Cape (South Africa). Chairperson
  • Judy Khanyola, University of Global Health Equity (Rwanda). Vice-Chairperson
  • Luzaan Africa, University of the Western Cape (South Africa). Secretary
  • Champion N. Nyoni, University of the Free State (South Africa)
  • Firdouza Waggie, University of the Western Cape (South Africa)
  • Elize Pietersen, Not Affiliated (South Africa)
  • Helga Lister, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • Gibson Masache, University of Malawi, (Malawi)
  • Shalote Chipamaunga, University of Zimbabwe, (Zimbabwe)
  • Farhini Delawala, University of South Africa (South Africa)
  • Nthabiseng Ramodisa, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • Moselene Appel, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • Jana Muller, Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
  • Estelle Viljoen, Sefako Makgatho University (South Africa)
  • Hanlie Pitout, Sefako Makgatho University (South Africa)
  • Juliet Savanhu, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (UK)
  • Fiston Gatera, University of Rwanda (Rwanda)
  • Penny Orton, Durban University of Technology, (South Africa)
  • Christmal dela Christmals, North-West University, (South Africa)
  • Renata Mosca, University of Pretoria, (South Africa)

Contact AfrIPEN

Interprofessional.Global Representative

Dr. Gérard Filies (Chairperson)
BSc OT, M.Phil Health ScEd, PhD

Dr Gérard Filies is a registered Occupational Therapist by profession with a B.Sc. (Occupational Therapy) degree from the University of the Western Cape. He also has an M.Phil. (Health Sciences Education) Master’s degree from Stellenbosch University and a PhD in the Child and Family Studies programme at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The title of his PhD study was Development of an interprofessional education model that aims to instill the core competencies of interprofessional collaborative practice in allied health students’ curriculum.

At UWC, he is employed as a full-time senior lecturer and Chairperson of the Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) in the Faculty of Community & Health Sciences. Research areas of interest are aligned to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) , 4 (Quality Education) and include: Interprofessional Education, Service-Learning, Health Promotion, Primary Health Care and Community-Based Education. Dr Gérard Filies as part of a team was appointed as convenor for driving the process for registration and accreditation of the Postgraduate Diploma in Interprofessional Education in Health – a first of its kind in the Western Cape, if not a first in South Africa. The programme was launched in August 2021. This is aligned to Agenda 2063, Aspiration 6, by getting the African Health Professionals to relying on their potential to work collaboratively in addressing health inequalities.

Biennial Report