The African Nutritional Sciences Research Consortium Meeting
On 11th and 12th October, 2018, the African Nutritional Sciences Research Consortium (ANSRC) held a significant meeting in Nairobi bringing together 30 – 40 delegates from the East African region. ANSRC aims to bring together academic and research institutions from across the East African region with the goal of building Ph.D. training programs in basic laboratory research in nutritional and agricultural sciences.
This meeting brought together research institutions such as the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), BecA-ILRI, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and Technoserve. Regional universities present were Muhimbili University, Sokoine University, Makerere University, University of Rwanda and University of Burundi. Local universities present were Masinde University, Moi University, Kenyatta University and the University of Nairobi. Key government institutions were also represented both locally and from the region.
To update members, Dr. Richard Deckelbaum, the Vice Chair of ANSRC gave an overview of the most recent developments. These were as follows; ANSRC was registered as a regional society 2 years ago and has since been meeting with different funding agencies. So far funding has been received from Presidents Global Innovation Fund (PGIF) and from the African Development Bank (AFDB).
Key highlights on ANSRC are as follows;
- On Curriculum Development and implementation - a system of a single classroom would be adopted.
- Student expenses would be fully funded and there will be a research grant for faculty members as well.
- An integration of biotechnology into nutrition and agricultural sciences.
Panel discussions were a key component in this meeting. With the panels' participants deliberated how ANSRC could set up successful by adopting methodologies and learning from peer research institutions.
After securing funding, and with the existing good relations with the government, ANSRC will operate in Kenya for Phase One. Students will still be recruited from the region. ANSRC will continue to reach out to regional governments for partnerships and as a result to expand to these regions.
Key to this gathering was the appointment of new officials by ballot. These were;
Dr. Gordon Nguka - Chairman
Dr. John Msuya - Vice Chairman
Prof. Bonnie Dunbar - Secretary
Mr. James Wariero - Treasurer/Program Coordinator