Bioinformatics Community of Practice


Building a Community of Practice

The Bioinformatics Community of Practise aims to build a self-sustaining network to enable Africa reap the benefits of the genomic era in improving its agricultural productivity. 

The availability of genomic technologies and data is growing fast in Africa. However, a bottleneck has emerged, caused by a shortage of human capacity and capability in data management and bioinformatics. Informed by extensive in-country demand mapping, we have developed a programme to affect a step change in the capacity and capability of African science to reap the benefits of genomic data. Ultimately, our goal is to build an active and self-sustaining community of African bioinformatics practitioners that contribute to food security in the continent by providing a support network to accelerate agricultural research in Africa.

The programme is being implemented in the three phases: Build, Empower and Amplify. 


The first phase (Build) consists of seven formal training modules in various areas of bioinformatics including programming in the Unix environment, analysing NGS data, whole genome assembly, diversity studies, biostatistics and phylogenetics, and implementing bioinformatics pipelines over various hardware infrastructures. 


The second phase (Empower) will consist of a train-the-trainer programme and a final project, whereby the fellows will be taught skills to pass on their knowledge to other students and scientists, and will showcase their newly acquired bioinformatics skills on real-life analysis problems.


The third phase (Amplify) will entail a short training on soft skills (project proposal writing, scientific communication, etc) as well as two regional training workshops in which the Bioinformatics fellows will be the trainers for other African colleagues.

2018 Cohort

Hassan Zackaria Ali Ishag

University of Nyala, Sudan

Bwihangane Birindwa Ahadi

Université Evangélique en Afrique

Osaiyuwu Osamede Henry

University of Ibadan

Pius K.B. Mugagga

Artificial Intelligence Research Group – Makerere University

Bernice Ngina Waweru

KALRO Food Crops Research Institute, Njoro Kenya

Ermias Assefa

Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute (EBTi)

Isaac Njaci

Jomo Kenyatta University

Mary Maranga

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Edwin Murungi

Egerton University

Muwonge Abubaker


Helen Nigussie Aychegrew

Addis Ababa University

Beatus Lyimo

Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology

Mukani Moyo Okoba

Jomo Kenyatta University