Opportunities in research and beyond: The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund fellowship program


Written by Milcah Kigoni

During my placeMilcah Kigoniment at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub under the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) fellowship, I was selected to attend the European Food Security Authority (EFSA) second scientific conference from 14–16 October 2015 in Milan, Italy, through the Young Researcher Initiative.

Being at the BecA-ILRI Hub gave me access to this opportunity as information about the conference came through the capacity building office and my supervisor was very supportive of my application. I was also supported through the financing of my visa application process.

The EFSA conference was an opportunity for me to learn more about food security and safety research and also to interact with scientists from all over the world. The trip to Milan was my first visit to Europe, which was a great experience and I made the most of it by networking professionally and socially.

Although I did not get a chance to present my poster, seeing my work listed in the EFSA Journal book of abstracts, was very uplifting! This goes to show that the research and capacity building being done at the BecA-ILRI Hub is top notch. I am grateful to the ABCF fellowship, because it has opened up many opportunities for me and built my capacity to great lengths.


About Milcah Kigoni

Milcah Kigoni is an MSc student at the Kenyatta University in Nairobi Kenya. She was awarded a six month fellowship from 1 October 2014–30 March 2015 through the ABCF program. Having witnessed farmers from Machakos County in eastern Kenya lose their herds to  East Coast fever (ECF), Kigoni developed the desire to be part of the solution to this challenge. The acceptance of her proposal by the ABCF to use computational tools in identifying potential vaccine candidates for ECF presented an opportunity to build her capacity in bioinformatics while fulfilling her aspiration to contribute to tackling the disease. Although much remains to be done, Kigoni’s work at the BecA-ILRI Hub has provided a better understanding of the parasite and the tick vector, a good start to finding a lasting solution to the ECF problem.

5 thoughts on “Opportunities in research and beyond: The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund fellowship program

  1. Bernard gichatha

    East coast fever has been a big menace here in Embu where I hail,
    am impressed to see my very close friend leading the world in ensuring this challenge is settled once and for all.
    am glad to wish milcah kigoni success in every attempt of bringing science to Africa.

  2. Milcah

    Thanks guys, Ngash I remember vividly, we have to get our hands dirty to save the cows. Bernard I hope soon the farmers in Embu will get a better solution for ECF. Nina BecA has contributed positively to us all.

  3. Komakech Richard

    Milcah Kigoni, you are such a young and committed scientist . I liked the way you came up with the idea of ECF vaccine. There is still a big task ahead in order to produce a highly thermostable ECF vaccine.
    I wish you the best in your endeavours.God bless you.


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