A prediction that Africa will host 25% of the global human population by 2050 has inspired the livestock industry to launch the African Animal Breeding Network (AABNet).
Based on the 2020 World Population Data Sheet, farming experts believe that AABNet is ideally placed to transform the breeding industry.
They will develop long-term breeding programmes to enhance African livestock production systems through genetic improvement. The pan-African initiative is also set on improving the capacity and knowledge transfer for animal breeding.
Among the strategic objectives of AABNet are to create a multi-country genetic evaluation to inform genetic merits of livestock germplasms.
This is living genetic resources, such as seeds or tissues, that are maintained for the purpose of animal and plant breeding, preservation, and other research uses.
AABNet will also provide professional development linked to talent and technology incubation. Also, it will create sustainable interfaces for solid and long-term engagement between academia, industry, farmer organisations, the public sector, and philanthropic and development agencies.
Driving socio-economic transformation
Livestock development in Africa remains a key driver of socio-economic transformation and resilience in farming communities, according to AABNet.
It believes the newly-established network is vital for the continent to meet its sustainable development goals and to address other global challenges.
AABNet will benefit from leading experts in agriculture, academia, government and international research organisations. Driving this initiative are world-renowned experts such as Dr Victor Olori, a senior geneticist based in Scotland.