Bridging the gap in African biodiversity genomics and bioinformatics: Open Institute of the African BioGenome Project:

Abdoallah Sharaf, Charlotte C. Ndiribe, Taiwo Crossby Omotoriogun, Linelle Abueg, Bouabid Badaou, Fatu J. Badiane Markey, Girish Beedessee, Diaga Diouf, Vincent C. Duru, Chukwuike Ebuzome, Samuel C. Eziuzo, Yasmina Jaufeerally Fakim, Giulio Formenti, Nidhal Ghanm, Fatma Zahra Guerfali, Isidore Houaga, Justin Eze Ideozu, Sally Mueni Katee, Slimane Khayi, Josiah O. KujaEmmanuel Hala Kwon-Ndung, Rose A. Marks, Acclaim M. Moila, Zahra Mungloo-Dilmohamud, Sadik Muzemi, Helen Negussie, Julian O. Osuji, Verena Ras, Yves H. Tchiechoua, Yedomon Ange Bovys Zoclanclounon, Krystal A. Tolley, Cathrine Ziyomo, Ntanganedzeni Mapholi, Anne Muigai, Appolinaire Djikeng, ThankGod Echezona Ebenezer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Africa, a continent of 1.3 billion people, had 326 researchers per one million people in 2018 (Schneegans, 2021; UNESCO, 2022), despite the global average for the number of researchers per million people being 1368 (Schneegans, 2021; UNESCO, 2022). Nevertheless, a strong research community is a requirement to advance scientific knowledge and innovation and drive economic growth (Agnew, et al., 2020; Sianes, et al., 2022). This low number of researchers extends to scientific research across Africa and finds resonance with genomic projects such as the African BioGenome Project (Ebenezer, et al., 2022).
The African BioGenome project (AfricaBP) plans to sequence 100,000 endemic African species in 10 years (Ebenezer, et al., 2022) with an estimated 203,000 gigabases of DNA sequence. AfricaBP aims to generate these genomes on-the-ground in Africa. However, for AfricaBP to achieve its goals of on-the-ground sequencing and data analysis, there is a need to empower African scientists and institutions to obtain the required skill sets, capacity and infrastructure to generate, analyse, and utilise these sequenced genomes in-country.
The Open Institute is the genomics and bioinformatics knowledge exchange programme for the AfricaBP (Figures 1 & 2). It consists of 10 participating institutions including the University of South Africa in South Africa and National Institute of Agricultural Research in Morocco. It aims to: develop biodiversity genomics and bioinformatics curricula targeted at African scientists, promote and develop genomics and bioinformatics tools that will address critical needs relevant to the African terrain such as limited internet access, and advance grassroot knowledge exchange through outreach and public engagement such as quarterly training and workshops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1354
Number of pages7
JournalNature Biotechnology
Early online date12 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


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