​​​​​Centre for Medical Ethics and Law​




The Research Ethics Committee Association of Southern Africa, which was launched on 17 September, is an initiative of the Advancing Research Ethics Training in Southern Africa (ARESA) programme. ARESA signifies a successful collaboration between the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at Stellenbosch University, and the US Centre for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina. To date, the programme has successfully built research ethics capacity and strengthened research ethics networks throughout the Southern African region.

REASA, as an extension of this winning partnership, is the first membership association of this kind in Southern Africa.  Its focus is to merge the isolated spaces in which the region's research ethics committees currently operate. The launch took place in tandem with the 4th Annual ARESA Research Ethics Seminar at the Southern Sun Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town. REASA stirred the interest of individuals and organisations involved in research ethics governance across Southern Africa. The launch was attended by approximately one hundred individuals representing among other research ethics committees at higher education institutions, the National Health Research Ethics Council, Human Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, as well as previous and current ARESA trainees.

Professor Anton van Niekerk positioned research ethics at the heart of philosophy, whilst Professor Deborah Posel's presentation raised awareness of the importance to create spaces for active discourse about the substantive ethical questions that researchers are likely to confront during the research process.


REASA's vision 'Connecting research ethics committees in Southern Africa' mirrors a commitment to co-construct lasting research ethics committee (REC) networks in Southern Africa.


REASA will accomplish its vision through the 5 "C's":

1.            Co-operative engagement to promote the philosophy and practice of ethical human and animal research in Southern Africa;

2.            Communication by providing pertinent information;

3.            Care by fostering a sense of community among its members;

4.            Connection by establishing regional networks for the discussion of topics of mutual interest; and

5.            Capacity building through a mentoring, consulting and advocacy service for its members.

REASA membership is open to people residing in or with an affiliation to Southern Africa, who are or have been one of the following:

•              Individual Research Ethics Committee (animal or human) members

•              Research ethics office bearers (chairpersons and secretariat)

•              Research integrity officers


Join us on the REASA facebook page!


For more information contact: secretary.reasa@gmail.com