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30th April 2022
Welcome to issue 51 of the DrumBeat!

In this issue, we feature developments in the uptake and utilization of biosciences tools to solve Africa's perennial problems spearheaded by African scientists. One of the problems Africa has been grappling with is malnutrition. Achieving food security status has been a mirage for many countries across the continent. The problem has not only been the quantity available to feed 1.3 billion Africans but also the quality in terms of essential body nutrients contained in the available diet.

The Video of the Month features efforts by Ethiopian scientists to provide a more balanced diet in a country and region where malnutrition and protein deficiency is a major problem. Protein deficiency is a leading factor in stunting, which stands at 67% among current adult population and 38% among new born population. We talk to Dr. Habte Jabessa, a researcher from Addis Ababa University who is working on Spirulina to curb stunting.

The Story of the Month highlights a new initiative - African BioGenome Project, which aims to sequence 100,000 animals and plants that are indigenous and endemic to Africa. The continent has a very rich ecosystem with diverse range of plants and animal species. A number of these environments are suffering from over exploitation of natural resources which has led to environmental degradation, loss of habitats, species reduction in numbers and their eventual extinction. Prof. Ann Muigai highlights how The African BioGenome Project intervention can help prevent further genetic erosion or loss in Africa.

In our Publications corner, read about the Synthetic Biology Technology Transfer Model; A Case of Kenya and the United Kingdom out of a benchmarking study tour by Kenyan experts organized by @ NACOSTI, Imperial College London and ISAAA AfriCenter

Finally, two announcements; ISAAA AfriCenter in partnership with OFAB Kenya and ISAAA AfriCenter is pleased to invite interested journalists and communication experts to a Science Media café scheduled for 5th May 2022. Secondly, ISAAA AfriCenter invites likeminded partnerships to subscribe to our signature science communication and media training series as well as biotech seeing-is-believing study tours.

Enjoy the read!


Curbing Stunting in Ethiopia Using Spirulina

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Prof. Ann Muigai

Prof. Ann Muigai
Chairperson and Co-Leader, African BioGenome Project

How a Genome Sequencing Project is set to safeguard Africa's Biodiversity

I always say that Genetics found me because I did not go in search of it. I completed my A levels with the goal of entering the University of Nairobi’s School of Dentistry. Unfortunately, I missed the entry mark by one point and that is how I found myself at Kenyatta University pursuing a Bachelor of Education, Science degree. I then met Dr GDE Njagi, who was a fresh PhD Genetics graduate from Edinburgh University. He opened up the world of Genetics for me and many others who came after me and I never looked back.

From Our Newsroom
AfriCenter Joins Efforts Towards Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa

AfriCenter Joins Efforts Towards Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa

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 ... Read more.

AfriCenter Contributes towards Strengthening Soft Skills of Next-Generation Livestock Professionals

AfriCenter Contributes towards Strengthening Soft Skills of Next-Generation Livestock Professionals

ISAAA AfriCenter participated in ILRI's CapDev Grand Challenge research pitching contest that took place on 13th April, 2022. The Center had a sit on the judging panel that was tasked with reviewing 3-minute research pitches from 30 graduate students and research fellows from National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) ... Read more

Synthetic Biology Technology Transfer Model
                                      PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 2022
Deploying Striga Smart Sorghum in Kenya