A new initiative empowering African scientists to solve Africa’s agricultural challenges
The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) is a competitive fund that provides capacity building and research opportunities at the BecA-ILRI Hub for African scientists and students from African national research institutes and universities.
Through the ABCF, early career African scientists receive fellowships which enable them to spend up to 6 months at
the Hub addressing key agricultural constraints through research while
building their research leadership skills. The ABCF has also enabled the Hub to strengthen regional biosciences capacity through short term training, workshops and scientific conferences. Four annual training workshops have been developed under the ABCF programme:
- Introduction to molecular biology and bioinformatics
- Advanced bioinformatics
- Scientific research paper writing
- Introduction to principles in laboratory management & equipment maintenance
is supported by the following major donors: the Australian Agency for
International Development (AusAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMGF), and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through
the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The fund is also
co-supported by a number of other initiatives and organisations,
including the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA),
African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), the
Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and
Central Africa (ASARECA) and the United Nations Educational Scientific
and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
For more information, download the
Find out how to apply here.
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The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund is a competitive fund which facilitates access to the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub for scientists and students from African national research institutes and universities. The fund supports short or long-term fellowships, pilot project grants and training.
The Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub provides access to world-class bioscience facilities and services for research on sustainable agriculture and development in the region. Through research partnerships, fellowships and training the Hub is building the capacity of African graduate students and scientists.
BecA Hub supports the priorities of the AU/NEPAD’s CAADP and the regional priorities of ASARECA, working with 18 countries in eastern and central Africa. The BecA Hub is managed by ILRI and located on their campus in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund works with African institutions, governments and regional organisations such as ASARECA and FARA. International partners include AusAID through the BecA-CSIRO partnership, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and SIDA.
Fellowships awarded through the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund support students and early career researchers from the eastern and central Africa region to undertake short-term placements at the BecA Hub.
The BecA Hub is a world-class bioscience facility for research on sustainable agriculture and development in the region. The facility has approximately 10,000 square meters of laboratory and support spaces, including a biosafety level (BSL) 3 laboratory and non-containment and containment (BSL2) plant growth facilities. The BecA Hub has facilities for genotyping, genetic sequencing and analysis, including ABI Genetic Analyzers, a Roche 454 next generation sequencer, and a bioinformatics computing platform. Training is provided in each of these areas by dedicated staff at the BecA Hub.