Thank you and good bye - Dr Segenet Kelemu bids BecA-ILRI Hub Farewell

Dear colleagues, friends and partners,

As some of you already know, I am leaving the BecA Hub and ILRI at the end of November, 2012 after five and half years as the BecA Hub Director. This is also a departure from the CGIAR after over 20 years of service, 15 of these at CIAT in Colombia. I will be joining the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) as their Vice President – Programs on 01 December, 2012 (

The BecA-ILRI Hub participates in International Food Security Conference

Today (30th November 2012) in Sydney, key food security specialists from Africa will come together with Australian and other counterparts to focus on the many issues related to food security in Africa and the important role that Australia can play. This high level delegation of African Agriculture Ministers, researchers, policy makers and extension workers are attending an international forum “Food Security in Africa: Bridging Research and Practice”, an event which will see the launching of Australia’s new International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) by Senator The Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia.

The new research frontiers

Swedish National radio highlights research at the BecA-ILRI Hub

The BecA-ILRI Hub recently hosted Pelle Zettersten, a radio journalist from the Science department of Swedish National Radio. Pelle was on a tour of eastern Africa to report recent scientific developments in the areas of agriculture, environment and energy, and the future plans by different countries as concerns science and technology.

Introducing new staff

Introducing Jacqueline Mayira, Berine Ada and Kimani Wilson

Supporting biotechnology excellence in Africa

Dr. Appolinaire Djikeng to serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Institute for Biotechnology in Nigeria

The BecA-ILRI Hub Technology Manager, Dr. Appolinaire Djikeng, has been invited to serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Institute for Biotechnology in Nigeria.

New staff at the BecA-ILRI Hub

Introducing Dr Timothy Holton and Dr Solomon Benor
Dr Solomon Benor joined the BecA-ILRI Hub in August 2012 as a Post-Doctoral Scientist in Molecular Genetics. He holds a Ph.D. in Biology with a specialization in molecular systematics and population genetics from Kassel University, Germany. His PhD studies were supported by a scholarship and research grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Research (IPK).

BecA-ILRI Research Fellow receives Norman E. Borlaug LEAP Fellowship

Samuel Mutiga has been selected as a Fellow for the Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (LEAP) of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program. Samuel, a PhD student at the Cornell University, USA, is currently attached to the BecA-ILRI Hub’s Capacity and Action for Aflatoxin Reduction in Eastern Africa (CAAREA) project.

Viral metagenomics demonstrates that pigs are a potential reservoir for Ndumu virus

Dr Charles Masembe, a recipient of BecA Hub’s Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund from Makerere University, Uganda, together with colleagues from African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe), ILRI Biotechnology theme , the BecA-ILRI Hub and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), have recently demonstrated that domestic pigs are a potential reservoir for Ndumu virus (NDUV).

BecA-ILRI Hub Director receives prestigious TWAS award

The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) awarded Segenet Kelemu the 2011 TWAS Prize for Agricultural Sciences during the 23rd TWAS General Meeting in Tianjin on Tuesday 18 September. The award was presented to her by the Chinese President Hu Jintao “for her discovery of beneficial endophytic fungi and bacteria in the tropical forage grass Brachiaria and for her contributions to the understanding of their roles in plant development and environmental fitness.

Introducing new staff at the BecA-ILRI Hub

Dr. Laura Purdie Has joined the BecA-ILRI Hub as a postdoctoral scientist in molecular diagnostics.

Laura has a strong background in molecular biology and virology. She has also gained extensive experience of PCR, DNA cloning and virological techniques from the University of Oxford and GlaxoSmithKline.

Loop-mediated isothermal amplification of DNA (LAMP) assay Workshop

A workshop on Loop-mediated isothermal amplification of DNA (LAMP) assay for rapid detection of capripoxviruses insheep, goats and cattle will be held at the BecA-ILRI Hub from 9-13 July 2012. The workshop is being organized through the Molecular diagnosis of livestock diseases: adapting and adopting existing diagnostics for developing country laboratories, a collaborative project between BecA-ILRI Hub and the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Foreign Animal Diagnostics Laboratory ( USDA/APHIS/FADDL).

Introducing New Staff at the BecA Hub


Introducing Sarah Osama, Mercy Macharia, Joyce Njuguna and Pauline Asami.

Science, technology and innovation grant 2012/2013 - Call for innovations proposals

National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) is a statutory institution of the Government of Kenya established by the Science and Technology Act. Cap. 250 of the Laws of Kenya. One of the main functions of NCST is to promote and coordinate matters of Science, Technology and Innovations (ST&I) in the country. The Council administers the Government ST&I grant designed to supports

The BecA-ILRI Hub's first lab management course

The BecA-ILRI Hub conducted a five-day training on Introduction to Principles in Laboratory Management and Equipment Operations Workshop from 4th to 8th June 2012. Areas covered in the training included general lab design; good laboratory practices (GLP) in lab management; laboratory health and safety; laboratory biosafety and biosecurity; equipment operations and maintenance; supply chain management; shipping of biological materials; material transfer agreements; and intellectual property rights.

Dr. Bruce Pengelly - BecA Hub's partner of the year, 2011

During his visit to the BecA Hub on 5th March 2012, CSIRO’s Partnerships leader Dr. Bruce Pengelly was awarded the Hub’s Outstanding Partner of the Year for2011. This award recognizes Bruce’s exemplary contribution to the BecA Hub. It appreciates his relentless commitment to Africa and his outstanding dedication to ensuring the BecA-CSIRO partnership works well and achieves impact for Africans.  Bruce always displays a deep respect to all stakeholders and partners and reiterates the importance of BecA’s work throughout the African region and internationally to his networks.

Next Generation Science - a part of the Global Livestock Agenda

On Tuesday 13 March 2012, a delegation of experts from various international organizations concerned with advancing livestock development took an extensive tour of the facilities at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub. The visit to the Hub was the culmination of a high level consultative meeting on The Global Livestock Agenda by 2020 held at ILRI and co-chaired by the Director General of ILRI – Jimmy Smith and Livestock Advisor for the World Bank – François Le Gall.

Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund 2012 Research Fellowships - Call for Applications

The Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) is a competitive grant that enables scientists from national research institutes and universities within the eastern and central Africa region to conduct research at the world-class research facilities of the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sida's program for development research (U-Forsk)

Call for applications to “Sida’s program for development research 2013”

The call for applications to “Sida’s program for development research 2013” is now open, closing date is April 3rd, 2012. During 2013 the total budget is 114 MSEK out of which 30 MSEK will be available for new applications. Applications within the area of global health research are handled by Vetenskapsrådet

The BecA-ILRI Hub annual letter, 2011

We are delighted to share with you the tremendous progress we have made in 2011. With the critical support of many partners and investors, we have continued to expand our programme of research, capacity building, and research-related services.

Australia Awards - PhDs for Agriculture

The Australian Government is offeringPhD Scholarships for Agriculture-related Study, commencing in Australia in 2013.
Call for applications is now open.
Closing date: 30 April 2012.

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