Strengthening the capacity of the African scientific community through training


From the 7 August 2016 the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) have been running a training workshop on Advanced Genomics and Bioinformatics at the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya.

The workshop has 22 participants from, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and has trainers from advanced research institutions in Sweden, USA and UK. At the training, the participants covered many aspects of genomics and bioinformatics including but not limited to; introduction to genomics and NGS technologies, library preparation and sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform, basic statistics for analysis of biological data, introduction to Linux, genome and transcriptome assembly, RNA-Seq differential expression analysis, variant discovery (SNP and Indel), 16S rRNA metagenomics and phylogenetics.

The skills and knowledge gained during this time will be transferred to a wider group through our capacity building program’s Participant Action Plan Approach (PAPA) mechanism. This workshop will contribute towards the building of a network of researchers from Africa’s National Research Systems (NARS) with strengthened capacity for application of genomics and bioinformatics in research addressing the pressing agricultural challenges in Africa.

The BecA-ILRI Hub relies a lot on its faculty networks across the world to provide high levels of expertise towards these kinds of training that take place annually at the Hub. In addition to the BecA-ILRI Hub staff, other trainers include; Dr. Erik Bongcam-Rudloff, Head of Bioinformatics Unit and Hadrien Gourle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden; Dr. Manpreet S. Katari, Clinical Associate Professor of Biology; Coordinator of Computational Studies, New York University; Dr. Stephen Obol Opiyo, Research Scientist, Ohio State University, USA and Dr. Walter Verweij, Senior Research Scientist, Elrham Institute, formerly the Genome Analysis Centre, UK.

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