BecA (Biosciences eastern and central Africa)

What is Biosciences eastern and central Africa?
Biosciences east and central Africa (BecA) is an initiative endorsed by The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and developed in the framework of Centres of Excellence for Science and Technology.
The core of BecA is a joint venture of regional research partners linked to the global research community, with the aim to employ modern biotechnology to improve agriculture in eastern and central Africa. BecA seeks to strengthen the capacity of scientists in eastern and central Africa, to conduct bioscience research and to significantly contribute to improved products that can enhance livelihoods of farmers in the region.
BecA provides a focal point for the African scientific community to support the activities of national, regional and international agencies as they address agricultural related problems of importance for alleviating poverty and promoting development

BecA consists of a Secretariat and a Hub, both located at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi, Kenya. The Hub provides a common biosciences research platform, research- related services and capacity building opportunities. BecA also has a network of five regional Nodes and other laboratories distributed throughout eastern and central Africa.
BecA aims to increase access to affordable, world- class research facilities within Africa and to create and strengthen human resources in biosciences and related disciplines in Africa. Special attention is being paid to the needs of women and to people from post conflict countries.

BecA’s Mission
To improve the livelihoods of resource-poor people in Africa, through the development and use of new technologies and strategies for sustaining agricultural production, improving human health, and conserving the environment.

BecA Countries
Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.

BecA Nodes
•University of Buea, Cameroon
• Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ethiopia
•Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
• National Agricultural Research Organization, Uganda
• Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Rwanda

Canadian International Development Agency, Syngenta Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Gatsby Charitable Trust, The Doyle Foundation

BecA Hub

Core competencies at the BecA Hub (on plants, animals, microbes and parasites)
Bioinformatics, Diagnostics, Genomics/Genetics, Gene sequencing, Genetic engineering, Molecular breeding, Proteomics, Vaccine technology/immunology, Vectors (e.g. ticks).
Hosted institutions to build biosciences capacity at the BecA Hub
At the BecA Hub extensive biosciences capacity in livestock-related research is provided through ILRI, while crop biosciences capacity is being provided by the following institutes:

  • The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria, and with a mission to enhance food security and improve livelihoods in Africa through research- for-development. IITA works on cowpea, soybean, banana, plantain, yam, cassava and maize.
  • The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), headquartered in Patancheru, India, and with a mission to help empower 600 million poor people to overcome hunger, poverty and a degraded environment in the dry tropics through better agriculture. ICRISAT works on chickpea, pigeon pea, groundnut, pearl millet and sorghum.
  • The French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD) headquartered in Paris, France, and with a mandate to contribute to rural development in tropical and subtropical countries through research, training, and technical information, primarily in the fields of agriculture, forestry and agrifoods.

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