ISAAA AfriCenter has joined a consortium of partners comprising of ILRI and CIRAD in a four-year project dubbed Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA). The project aims to generate an inclusive Research & Innovation ecosystem, facilitating rapid uptake, adaption and adoption of solutions to issues that can be dealt with using a One Health (OH) approach, with the OH concept embedded across society in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), working for healthy humans, animals and environments.

The world is facing unprecedented, inter-connected threats to the health of people, animals, and the environment. Addressing these threats requires cross-sectoral, systems wide approaches. This is encapsulated in the One Health concept, which recognizes the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. According to Dr. Margaret Karembu, ISAAA AfriCenter’s Director and one of the Consortium leads, “science communication is an enabler of the One Health culture and practice, given the close collaboration across sectors and stakeholders needed for successful delivery of OH solutions.”

COHESA project, which officially kicked-off in December 2021, will be implemented across 11 African countries and has four key objectives:

  1. Increased relevance of OH research and policies in Eastern and Southern Africa;
  2. Enhanced national and sub-regional cross-sectoral collaboration between government entities with OH mandates and OH stakeholders across society; 
  3. Educational and research institutes equipped to train the next generation workforce in tackling OH issues and; 
  4. Increased capacity of government and non-governmental stakeholders trained by the intervention to identify and deliver OH solutions to key problems of final beneficiaries. 

AfriCenter will lead the work package centred around promoting national and regional OH collaboration and governance. The Center will bring its vast experience in working with multi-stakeholder platforms and strengthening the soft-skills of those needed to effectively work together across sectors to operationalise the OH approach. 

The Consortium will work with in-country multiplier organizations that are majorly One Health research and implementation organizations, in five eastern Africa countries namely: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and six southern Africa countries, namely: Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe. The Consortium and in-country multipliers will deliver the project to beneficiaries, mainly government, education, research and service providers engaged in One Health.

The project is supported by the European Commission OACPS Research and Innovation Programme: ACP-EU initiative, co-funded through International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and (CIRAD) Centre de coopération internationale en recherche.

For more information, visit: www.africenter.isaaa/COHESA