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Bioinformatics is a relatively new specialist area. We need to raise awareness of the field here in Africa and expose local scientists to its potential. The West has spent millions of dollars sequencing the genomes of humans, animals, plants and parasites and the resulting data are freely available on the Internet. This is a vast body of knowledge that local scientists can use to solve their specific problems or to answer research questions. All scientists in Africa need to make use of these data are a computer, good Internet access and bioinformatics skills.
Raising awareness and building capacity in Bioinformatics in Africa is a major focus of the Bioinformatics Platform. This is accomplished through regular training courses and research projects undertaken at the BecA platform. In association with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Linnaeus Centre for Bioinformatics, in Uppsala, Sweden, ILRI and BecA is running yearly a two-week "Introduction to Bioinformatics" training course. Since 2005 we have trained more than 100 students from more than five eastern and central Africa countries in the field of bioinformatics.
Information on the courses and training material can be found at the links below.