What is the African BioGenome Project?
A coordinated pan-African effort to build capacity (and infrastructure) to generate, analyze and deploy genomics data for the improvement and sustainable use of biodiversity and agriculture across Africa. We refer to this coordinated pan-African effort as the African BioGenome Project (AfricaBP), and the community of networks to deliver on this agenda as Digital Innovations in Africa for a Sustainable Agri-Environment and Conservation (DAISEA). Read More
To foster scientific collaborations and partnerships, provide the platform for innovations and policy change across Africa through biodiversity genomics.
To harness the power of genomics for the improvement and sustainable use of biodiversity across Africa.
Develop a DAISEA network of interdisciplinary participants, collaborators, and partners to identify and promote emerging innovations applicable to agro-ecosystem. Engage members of the Animal genetic resources taxonomy advisory group (AnGR–TAG) established during the genetic projects implemented by AU-IBAR, to ensure the sustainability and efficient utilization of human resources supported by the AU-IBAR. Engage similar working groups for plant taxonomy.
Deploy relevant skills and technology transfer mechanisms in the area of computer programming, Nanopore sequencing, and bioinformatics, remote sensing, data-model assimilation and genomic breeding methods to build a critical mass of knowledge required for the analysis of agroecosystem data. Delineate and demonstrate the relevance of these technologies in the smooth running of the regional plant and animal gene banks to support decision making for the genetic improvement of plant and animal genetic resources in Africa. Engage with strategic research and higher learning institution collaborators as recommended by AU-IBAR, as well as the managers of the regional gene bank as part of the capacity building programme for the management, conservation and sustainable utilisation of African Animal genetic resources for food and agriculture.
Determine the key applicable information and establish a rich functional database. This will involve the use of molecular and environmental data generation where appropriate, taking into account taxonomic components and abiotic and biotic factors, as well as using existing data from public resources and databases such as the African Animal Genetic Resources Information System (AAGRIS). Align objective with the Animal Resources Information System (ARIS3) in generating useful Animal Resources information to assist decision making, and enhancing data and information sharing capability among different stakeholders in Africa. In line with the DAISEA-ARIS3 objectives, match the genetics/genomic information to the biotic and abiotic data, improve the new version of the system and better assist African scientists and member states of the African Union to improve their information and knowledge management capacity to not only swiftly respond to disease emergencies, but to also properly plan interventions in animal health, animal production, and trade and marketing.
Explore and exploit applicability of machine learning algorithms: in monitoring livestock genomics for breeding programmes; to establish predator-prey relationships, nutrient cycles and requirements, and inorganic ions constituents in target agroecosystems; for crop monitoring and realising smart interventions (e.g. irrigation, fertilisation, pesticide, herbicide and irrigation applications, soil management) on cultivated land in order to increase yield and improve climate resilience with limited ecological pressures. Support the establishment of AI and IoT as the backbone of the Regional Technology and innovation incubation hubs in Africa (A-TiChubs) to be implemented under the AU-IBAR project on “Sustainable Development of Livestock for Livelihoods in Africa – Live2Africa”. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, and future going remote, the synergic exploitation of the available technology platform for distant support and service delivery to farmers will remain a very promising and cheap option in the absence of the common logistical support.
Develop optimal DNA sampling protocols for agricultural and biodiversity systems, such as soil, water, and air, can be used to drive informed decisions and change agricultural practices in Africa, with potential for global reach.
The AfricaBP, DAISEA Grand Challenges (GCs) aims to deliver value for the African people and build genomics and bioinformatics capacities across Africa.