Sida research council visits the BecA-ILRI Hub in Nairobi

A high level delegation from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) research council visited the BecA-ILRI Hub laboratories in Nairobi on 25 January 2017.

The team led by the council chair Prof Thomas Roswall, who was previously the executive director of Sweden’s International Council for Science (ICSU), vice chancellor of Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and director of International Foundation for Science (IFS) were attending a meeting with ILRI’s senior management at the ILRI Nairobi campus.

Sweden’s support to agricultural research for development in Africa has spanned decades and ILRI has benefited from this support, having received funding of USD 25 million between 2009 and 2014. Current investments totaling to USD 12 million are for research and capacity strengthening at the BecA-ILRI Hub. 

The Sida grant to the BecA-ILRI Hub supports research on an innovative approach to climate change mitigation through the use of Climate-smart Brachiaria grasses for livestock production. The grant has also facilitated collaborations with advanced research institutions for the transfer of skills and technologies to the BecA-ILRI Hub. 

A long-term partnership between the BecA-ILRI Hub and SLU has contributed greatly to the growth of the bioinformatics platform and training of scientists from national agricultural research systems in the region. Collaboration with the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) provided support  and technology transfer for the establishment of a livestock disease diagnostics platform at the BecA-ILRI Hub.

During Wednesday’s visit, the Swedish delegation met with researchers from across Africa working with equipment purchased with support of funds from Sida. The team learnt more about ongoing Swedish funded research on climate change mitigation through the use of improved Brachiaria grass as preferred livestock feed. They also hear more about the agenda to harness goat diversity in Africa by a community of practice that has emerged as a result of a Swedish funded project which ran from 2012–2014 at the BecA-ILRI Hub. 

The delegation included:


  • Margareta Norell Bergendahl, Professor of Integrated Product Development at KTH.(The Royal Technical University);
  • Francesca Chiodi, Professor of Host-Parasite Interactions at Karolinska Institute;
  • Anders Olofsgård, Associate Professor of National Economy at Stockholm School of Economics and Georgetown University, Washington;
  • Kerstin Sahlin, Professor of Business Economics at Uppsala University. Chief secretary for Social Sciences and Humanoria vid Vetenskapsrådet (National Research Council), including Committee for Development Research;
  • Maria Stern, Professor of Peace and Development Studies at Göteborgs (Gothenburgs) University; and 
  • Per-Olof Östergren, Professor of Social Medicine and Global Health at Lunds University.


They were accompanied by representatives of Sida including 

  • Karin Afli, Controller, Research Cooperation;
  • Hannah Akuffo, Research Cooperation;
  • Renée Ankarfjärd, Research Cooperation;
  • Petra Attfors Burcher, Deputy Head of the Department for Innovations and Partnerships;
  • AnnaMaria Oltorp, Head of Unit for Research Cooperation;
  • Lisa Román, Research Cooperation;
  • Staffan Smedby, Head of Unit Peace and Justice, Africa Department; and
  • Philip Chiverton, Senior Research Advisor, Unit of Research Cooperation.


Read more about Sweden support to the BecA-ILRI Hub

BecA-Sweden partnership

Taking stock of Sweden’s research for development investment in Africa: Dr Claes Kjellström from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency visits the BecA-ILRI Hub

Enhancing international partnerships for agricultural productivity in Africa – The BecA-ILRI Hub’s research for development partnership with Sweden in focus

Un-wrapping a 6 million dollar “Christmas Gift”: Sweden increases funding to the BecA-ILRI Hub for research towards food security



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