James Hakim was a Professor of Medicine, University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) in Harare, Zimbabwe and Adjunct Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado, Denver, USA. He was the Director of the University of Zimbabwe Clinical Research Centre and Site Leader of the Clinical Trials Unit’s Parirenyatwa Clinical Research site of UZCHS. Professor Hakim obtained his MBChB from Makerere University (Uganda), MMed from the University of Nairobi (Kenya), MRCP (United Kingdom), and MMedSci in Clinical Epidemiology form the University of Newcastle, Australia. He did his post-doc in Cardiology in Aachen, Germany. He was a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Edinburgh. Professor Hakim was actively engaged in teaching, research, mentorship, and both national and international programmatic work related to capacity building in research and medical education. His area of research interest was HIV and cardiovascular diseases. His passion was the training the next generation of competent, independent, and collaborative African research scientists. For the past 9 years he had led the UZCHS Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Junior Faculty Research Career training grant, and the Health Education Partnership Initiative (HEPI). He was an Africa region representative on the International AIDS Society Governing Council.