Published on January 14, 2008
Slide1: ICT and Human Capital Development in Africa: Role of Centers of Excellence Kubata Bruno Kilunga Biosciences eastern and central Africa 19-21 November 2006, Cape Town, South Africa Major Issues to be discussed: Major Issues to be discussed Major Challenges for Africa The Need for Research in Bioscience on the Continent Experience of NEPAD’s Initiative of Centers for Excellence in Bioscience on the Continent Facts and Figures on African Agriculture and Food Security: Sub-Saharan Africa's share of world hunger is rising sharply Globally: 30% more food/person over past 40 years Africa: 7% less food/person over past 40 years Why? Frequent drought in the semi - arid and arid zones and desertification; Soil erosion and decline in soil fertility; Low level of irrigated agriculture and low water productivity, Diseases; Loss of biodiversity and General natural resources degradation: Low productivity of agriculture which is lower than world norms Facing increasingly competitive world markets Declining commodity prices for traditional export crops and Declining world export market share, Extreme poverty with people living on less than US$1 a day Facts and Figures on African Agriculture and Food Security Facts and Figures on African Health: Population: ca. 703 millions with annual Population Growth of 2.1% Life Expectance at Birth: 45.8 years Control of parasitic Diseases such as Trypanosomiasis, Leishmaniasis and Malaria, and Prevalence of HIV/AIDS Facts and Figures on African Health Slide6: A tale of three epidemics Slide7: Botswana-35% South Africa-16% Swaziland-33% Madagascar-1% Kenya-7% Namibia-20% Zambia-16% Congo DR-5% Ivory Coast-7% Ghana-2% Burkina Faso-2% Mali-1% Sierra Leone-1% Nigeria-4% Tanzania-7% Eritrea-2.7% Sudan-2.6% Egypt<0.1% Zimbabwe-20% Algeria-0.1% Lesotho-23% HETEROGENEITY OF HIV IN AFRICA Uganda-7% Angola-3% Djibouti-2.9% Congo B-5% Mauritania-0.6% Senegal-0.8% Sources: UNAIDS 2004 estimates used unless recent national population-based HIV survey available Adult HIV Prevalence 15-35% 3-7% 0-0.1% 1-5% Ethiopia-4% Facts and Figures on the quality of Science in sub-Saharan Africa: Facts and Figures on the quality of Science in sub-Saharan Africa Slide9: BecA Vision To enable African scientists and institutions to use technologies and make technological innovations by undertaking bioscience research and innovation targeted at issues affecting Africa’s development, while accessing the best of science worldwide. BecA Mission To improve the livelihoods of resource-poor people in Africa trough the development and use of new technologies for sustaining agricultural production, improving human health, and conserving the environment. S&T Collaboration in Africa Slide10: Opportunities of countries and/or institutions to participate in BecA programs BecA Design: BecA Design BecA Hub and Secretariat Located on the campus of ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya Provide common biosciences research platform Deliver research related services Facilitate capacity building and training opportunities Network of regional nodes, National Programs and other laboratories Distributed throughout institutions in eastern and central Africa Conduct research on priority issues affecting Africa’s development BecA Core Competencies: BecA Core Competencies Scientific & Technical Bioinformatics Biometrics Diagnostics Genomics Functional genomics Gene sequencing Molecular breeding Transformation Tissue culture Vaccine technology Vectors Non-Scientific Laboratory management Equipment maintenance Biosafety policies and practices Communication and knowledge management Information technology Intellectual property management Other regulatory management Partnerships for technology delivery Science writing Proposal preparation Slide13: Plant/crop biotechnology - Genetic transformation - Plant breeding with MAS - Diagnostics - In vitro propagation/tissue culture/ micro-propagation - Genomics/bioinformatics Focus on products - Nutritionally-enhanced crops - Abiotic stresses (e.g., drought, other physical) - Biotic/disease stresses Application on the following crops: - Cereals: Maize, millet, rice, sorghum, wheat - Legumes: Beans, cowpea, groundnut - Vegetative crops: Banana/plantain, cassava, sweet potato - Cash crops: Coffee, cotton, oil palm, and sesame Slide14: Livestock biotechnology Animal health/production Nutrition Improving disease control Delivery of genetic change Animal genetic resources Specific disease areas East Coast fever (caused by Theileria parva), Animal trypanosomiasis, Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia (CBPP) Rift Valley fever virus, African Swine Fever virus, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiensei, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Brucella abortus, Mycoplasma mycoides Anthrax Avian flu Project Areas: Project Areas Environmental application Genotyping of indigenous plant and wildlife species Better characterization Conservation Management Some achievements: Some achievements Establishment of state-of-the-art Bioinformatics facility, Upgrading of Server and computer training facility to complement the Bioinformatics platform, Establishment of medium throughput sequencing and genotyping facility featuring. Workshops and symposia: Workshops and symposia Jan 2005: Sorghum Millet, Rice Annotation Meeting (A meeting for African scientists to understand how to utilise the annotation data) March 2005: Bioinformatics Workshop March 2005: African Genome Initiative (AGI) Annual Conference Cracking Africa’s killer diseases co-hosted with BecA, ILRI and ICIPE Capacity building: Capacity building Nov–December 2004 Training of 21 participants from the region on Molecular Breeding course ‘Unlocking Plant Diversity for the Resource-Poor using the tools of modern genomics, specifically Marker Assisted Selection techniques’ Ongoing BecA/Rockefeller/Global Challenge Program on Tapping Crop Biodiversity for the Resource-Poor in East and Central Africa, supporting 2 PhD candidates working on Cassava and Sorghum. Conclusions: Thank you so much for your Attention Conclusions NEPAD’s initiative of Centers for Excellence in Biosciences is a new approach for growing and sustaining the African Human Capital. It adds value and is complementary to the HEIs.