Back to News

Repositioning the BecA – ILRI hub into a One CGIAR Biosciences for Africa (CONNECTED Seminar One)

One CGIAR was the focus of a presentation by Dr. Cathrine Ziyomo, Director of Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA)–ILRI Hub, in the inaugural CONNECTED Seminar.

One CGIAR is a dynamic reformulation of CGIAR’s partnerships, knowledge and physical assets. It aims to drive major progress in key areas where innovation is needed to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and a platform where the needs of national agricultural research organisations (NARS) meet CGIAR to give relevance.

In a presentation entitled “Repositioning the BecA – ILRI hub into a One CGIAR Biosciences for Africa,” Dr. Ziyomo set out the background to the changes, explaining the establishment and premise of the BecA-ILRI Hub. She explained how over the years since its creation a number of issues emerged, outlining those challenges, including: accessibility and affordability of facilities; the need for increased visibility and collaborations with regional networks, and securing mechanisms to increase governments’ commitment to the shared cause.

Dr. Ziyomo then set out how stakeholder consultations and engagements have helped shape the way ahead, and outlined the current programme for repositioning the BecA-ILRI Hub to the Biosciences for Africa hub, setting out the vision for a new model that increases access to the platforms that are available, and their affordability.

The key changes to the work of BecA-ILRI Hub will be:

  • Expansion: The Hub’s target area will expand from East and Central Africa to all of Africa
  • Lab facilities: ILRI will cover the operational cost of keeping the lab facilities up to date, and for the Hub to maintain its position at cutting-edge facilities
  • Capacity building embedded in research programs: Identification of synergies and collaborations to sustain the training and skill enhancement of African researchers
  • Stronger relationships with NARS: Greater alignment with NARS’ priorities and needs

Dr. Ziyomo explained that the operational goals of ONE CGIAR will be:

  • Expand the catchment of users
  • Drive down the cost to the NARS users
  • Expand the fund

“The ONE CGIAR model presents a unique opportunity for the BecA-ILRI Hub to better pursue its mission, increase its impact, and maximise its operational visibility,” said Dr. Ziyomo. It will do this by becoming a research hub that integrates a range of biosciences.

“It will bring greater relevance and significance to research in a way that is well-coordinated. It will also allows us to use the linkages and unique partnerships we have in order to translate research into solutions and products for agricultural development,” she added.

CONNECTED network members can watch Dr. Ziyomo’s presentation and the Question and Answer session which followed it, using this link. You will need to be logged in as a CONNECTED member on the device you are using.