Swedish International Development Agency grants US$10.67 million to improve African bioscience

Virus greenhouse at the ILRI Addis

Bio-resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) announce USD10.67 million grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) today announced a SEK80 million (USD10.67 million) grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) to support the set up of a multidisciplinary competitive funding mechanism for  biosciences and product-oriented innovation activities in eastern Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda).

The Bio-Innovate Program will focus on delivering new products through bioscience innovation systems involving a broad sector of actors, including scientists, the private sector, NGOs and other practitioners. The program will use modern bioscience to improve crop productivity and resilience to climate change in small-scale farming systems, and improve the efficiency of the agro-processing industry to add value to local bio-resources in a sustainable manner. Bio-Innovate will be user-, market- and development-oriented in order to make a difference on the ground in poverty alleviation and sustainable economic growth.

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, says: “African governments have recognized the importance of regional collaboration in science and technology to enable the continent to adapt the rapid advances and promises of modern biosciences. In 2005, under the auspices of the Africa Union (AU) and NEPAD, African countries designed and adopted Africa´s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA). The plan puts emphasis on improving the quality of African science, technology and innovation through regional networking and developing more appropriate policies. Biotechnology and biosciences are prioritized areas in the plan, as has been demonstrated by the work of a high-level AU/NEPAD African Panel on Biotechnology, whose findings are in the publication Freedom to Innovate—Biotechnology in Africa´s Development.”

An Africa-based and Africa-led initiative, Bio-Innovate will draw upon existing expertise and resources from Africa, while forming connections with both African and global institutions to add value to Africa’s natural resources and develop sound policies for commercializing products from biosciences research.

Bio-Innovate builds on the achievements of the BIO-EARN program funded by Sida from 1999 to 2009 and has been developed by a team appointed by BIO-EARN governing board. “The program will benefit a lot from the facilities available at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub”, says Hassan Mshinda, Chair of the BIO-EARN Governing Board.

“We recognize the importance of the Bio-Innovate initiative to complement and strengthen the biosciences research in eastern and central Africa,” says Carlos Seré, Director General of ILRI. “We appreciate the support from Sida and are convinced that this innovative program will strengthen Africa’s capacity in using biotechnology for economic development.”

“Sida sees the Bio-Innovate Program as an important platform for pooling eastern African expertise through a regional bioscience innovation network, enabling cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary R&D and policy and sustainability analysis. The Bio-Innovate Program will be integrated into ongoing regional programs and structures and promote bioscience innovation in support of sustainable development in the region”, says Gity Behravan, Senior Research Advisor at Sida.

New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD): The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a socioeconomic development program of the African Union (AU).  The objective of NEPAD is to stimulate Africa’s development by filling gaps in agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, science and technology. NEPAD explicitly recognizes that life sciences and biotechnology offer enormous potential for improving Africa’s development. Through NEPAD, African countries have committed themselves to establish networks of centres of excellence in biosciences. Four sub-regional networks have been established: the Southern African Network for Biosciences (SANBio), the Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa Network (BecANet), the West Africa Biosciences Network (WABNet) and the North Africa Biosciences Network (NABNet). A recent AU decision to integrate NEPAD into structures and processes of the AU gives the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) the mandate to facilitate, coordinate and implement the NEPAD agenda.

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI): The Africa-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works at the crossroads of livestock and poverty, bringing high-quality science and capacity building to bear on poverty reduction and sustainable development. ILRI is one of 15 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It has its headquarters in Kenya and a principal campus in Ethiopia. It also has teams working out of offices in Nigeria, Mali, Mozambique, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and China. ILRI hosts the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub at the invitation of the African Union/New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AU/NEPAD), as part of the AU/NEPAD’s Africa Biosciences Initiative. The BecA Hub is part of a shared research platform on the ILRI campus in Nairobi. The BecA Hub has been established over the past two years, with strong support from the Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and ILRI. For more information, please visit our website: www.ilri.org

7 thoughts on “Swedish International Development Agency grants US$10.67 million to improve African bioscience

  1. Respected Sir/ Madam,
    Dhartee Development Society (DDS) is a non-profit, rural based Organization striving for the social as well as economical development of men and women folk for twelve years at grass roots level. DDS has launched various programs/ projects for WID to facilitate various services to the women of various districts. All programs of the Organization are participatory approach/ methodology based. The direct beneficiaries of various programs/ projects of DDS are women and girl children. 
    This project proposal aims to establish a economic empowerment of women through bring improvement in their livestock management skills and the Proposed Project is made with the suggestions and recommendations of the community of the targeted area.
    This is a viable Proposal, which will produce a certain multidimensional positive effects to a large number of women of district Hyderabad Sindh. We hope you will consider this proposal that is developed, “for the women”. If you have any query please contact us for the clarification.
    We are very optimistic for your positive response.
    Yours truly,
    Mansoor Dahri

    Executive Director
    Address: Bungalow # 73-A, Al- Rehman cottage,
    By Pass Hyderabad , Sindh 7100, Pakistan .
    Tel:0092-22-2671190 / 0092-22-3028261
    Cell:0092-333-2682088 / 0092-300-3094643
    Email: info@dds.org.pk / dhartee_org@yahoo.com
    website: http://www.dds.org.pk

  2. Dear Kandi Jefferson: Thanks for your comment on our blog. I’m afraid we are an international research organization—not a local development organization—and so are not allowed to fund initiatives such as yours, as good and as needed as they are. But we thank you for your interest. For information on livestock development that may be of use to you, you may want to contact the relevant department at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.

  3. I am from Ethiopia and MSc student in the field of Biotechnology. Now I am on the way of finding research title and plan to do on the area of medical science by using biotechnology techniques. I will arrange my title specifically and send you within few weeks. Therefore I need your fund and try to do best research in the area of medical science specifically depending on diagnosis and detection of certain challenging disease.So, if you are interested in this area, you can give me response through my email.

    With regard
    Fekede meshesha

  4. Dear colleagues,
    Iam the founder and Director of the Goat Research Centre, Faculty of Agricultyral Sciences, University of Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan. We are very active in research in ruminant nutrition, meat production, dairy production, upgrading straws, anti nutritional factors, browses, rangeland, characterization of local breeds and nutrient requirements. We work mainly in goats, sheep, cattle and camels.
    We need interested partners , organizations and scientists. We need to eestablish a modern nutrition laboratory. We are looking for strong relationship with you.
    Details of our research proposals are available.


  5. Dear Porfessor Mohmed,

    My name is Albert Mwangi from the Bio-resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) Program (http://bioinnovate-africa.org/). The moderator of this platform, Susan Macmillan suggested I respond to your inquiry. When I look at our mandate, we basically fund consortia of research centers, private sector players who have come together to push research results to develop innovations that promote socio-economic growth in Africa. From your comment, I believe the best positioned organization you can work with is BecA-ILRI Hub.

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