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African Union Team Visits ASF-RESIST Action at CoNAS

  • In Sciences
  • 2 May 2019 - 4:58pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 197
The Principal Investigator of ASF-RESIST, Dr. Charles Masembe; an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), CoNAS, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

A team from the African Union (AU) led by Dr. Monica Ebele Idinoba accompanied by Ms. Khadidiatou Meissa Gaye visited the ASF-RESIST action from the 23rd April to 26th April 2019 at the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) to review progress of the action since its inception in 2018. The African Union supported by the European Union awarded a research grant of USD 1,249,988 to a consortium of scientists led by the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University to implement a research action aimed at 'Developing innovative and sustainable approaches to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Africa (ASF-RESIST)'. The Principal Investigator (PI) of ASF-RESIST is Dr. Charles Masembe, an
Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS).

During the visit, the AU team held a meeting on the 24th April 2019 with the team at CoNAS led by the Principal (Prof. Joseph Y.T. Mugisha) and Head of ZEFS (Dr. Eric Sande). The Director of Research and Graduate Training at Makerere University (Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza) and a RUFORUM representative also attended the meeting.

In his remarks at the meeting, Dr. Masembe reiterated the strengths of ASF-RESIST noting that 'ASF-RESIST has put together a partnership of members from across Africa and the northern hemisphere. The action will allow us to train more and thereby build a critical mass of scientists/experts working on African Swine Fever (ASF) in Africa and globally'. He also underlined the support of the AU in leveraging the capacity available in Africa to solve
the continent's problem.

Dr. Ebele as head of the AU team encouraged Makerere to comply to agreements reached with the funders otherwise penalties might accrue affecting future project grants for the institution as a whole.

Dr. Sande as Head of ZEFS welcomed the AU team and partners present to the department. He highlighted his belief that the ASF-RESIST action will bring more skills and knowledge to the department.

Prof. Mugisha noted that ZEFS is one of the most qualified departments across Makerere University with all the academic staff PhD holders. He also reiterated thanks of CoNAS and Makerere for the support of AU and EU with confirmation that the action will be well implemented.

It gives me great pleasure to give remarks at a review of multi-institutional project, Prof. Buyinza said. He recalled his presence the inception meeting where the pace for implementation was set. He reminded everyone that 'winning a project is only a short celebration but the issue for Makerere and partners as institutions is compliance and brand protection. This can only be possible by implementing the project as stipulated in the proposal and agreement with funders'.

Prof. Buyinza thanked Dr. Masembe for the zeal exhibited by winning the project grants that he leads and implementing them satisfactorily. 'I request that you continue to do thus but also train and mentor others',

Prof. Buyinza continued. The Director reminded all present that 'we are transforming communities with research that we do. He assured all that Makerere has lessons to share as a leader in home grown solutions as exhibited by the work implemented at the various units of the University'.

Prof. Buyinza reminded the meeting that it is important to always think ahead to sustainability and human resource capacity building for any grant worn. He also commended CoNAS under the leadership of Prof. Mugisha for the work accomplished.

The AU team also visited project sites including the Molecular Genetics Laboratory and farmers in Mukono District.

Partners working with Makerere University on the ASF-RESIST action include MRC - University of Glasgow, Centre for Virus Research - Scotland, UK; National Veterinary Research Institute, Nigeria. Associate Partners: BecA-ILRI Hub - Kenya; National Veterinary Institute - Sweden. Networking Support: Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture
(RUFORUM).

Article by Communications and PR Office, CoNAS

 

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