About the Challenge Fund
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
ABCF 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).