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08th January 2022
Welcome to issue 48 of the DrumBeat!

Greetings! As we kick off another year, the Drumbeat family hopes that you and your folks are safe and in splendid health. We continue to keep you updated on current developments and topical bioscience news from around the continent.

In this issue, we focus on an emerging topic in international discussions, digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources. Video of the month, developed by ABS Capacity Development Initiative, explains the concept of DSI, illustrating its importance under the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In our story of the month, Dr. Margaret Karembu, MBS, Director of ISAAA AfriCenter, highlights some aspects of DSI that are likely to dominate discussions as Parties and stakeholders deliberate on modalities of sharing benefits from the utilization of DSI.

This year, we introduce a new section, 'From Our Newsroom' where news stories from our various activities will be featured. To kick us off is a synopsis of media stories highlighting the ongoing animal feeds crisis in Kenya and how biotechnology could provide a sustainable intervention.

Finally, ISAAA AfriCenter is delighted to welcome its new Board of Directors. We look forward to their leadership in advancing biotechnology as a public agenda, and its contribution to society.

Happy reading!


DSI – Simply Explained

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Margaret Karembu, PhD, MBS

Margaret Karembu, PhD, MBS
Director, ISAAA AfriCenter

Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources: Which Way for Africa?

Digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources is a cross-cutting topic at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Since coming into the agenda, DSI has generated divergent views and polarized debates. This is despite there being no consensus on the DSI concept, scope, and legal clarity. As Parties and stakeholders prepare for Phase II of CBD-COP15, African experts must prepare to join the negotiation table as modalities of sharing benefits from DSI utilization are discussed.

From Our Newsroom
AfriCenter Conducts Media Outreach Campaign to Address Livestock Feed Shortage in Kenya

AfriCenter Conducts Media Outreach Campaign to Address Livestock Feed Shortage in Kenya

In January 2022, ISAAA AfriCenter and partners organized media outreach visits to several Kenyan livestock farms. The objective of the visits was to familiarize journalists with the dire situation of animal feeds in the country with the ultimate goal of highlighting the plight of livestock farmers and feed manufacturers in the face adverse feed shortage. Twelve (12) media stories were published or aired. The stories garnered a staggering 16.7 million impressions. Read more.

ISAAA AfriCenter Unveils New Board

ISAAA AfriCenter Unveils New Board

The AfriCenter family is excited to welcome a new Board of Directors. The Board comprises a team of eight eminent personalities representing developing and industrialized countries, public and private sectors, and various professional interest groups. Made up of an eclectic blend of both young and time-honoured, the new Board represents a wide range of expertise in science, technology and innovation (STI), research and academia, food security, advocacy, and leadership and management. Read more

Breaking Barriers with Breeding: A Primer on New Breeding Innovations for Food Security
Africa Biennial Biosciences Communication Symposium (ABBC 2021)