JKUAT Don Honoured by African Union

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Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology's Professor Anne Muigai is amongst 15 Taxonomy Advisory Group experts recognized by the African Union.

She was awarded for her outstanding contribution to the development of the Animal Genetic Resource Characterization and Inventory and Monitoring (AnGR-CIM) tool for Africa.

Muigai is also a member of the African Union Animal Genetic Resources Taxonomy Advisory Group.

The award was presented to her by Her Excellency Ambassador Josefa Correia Sacko, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture (REA) of the African Union, and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.

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She was recognised for her invaluable dedication to the conservation and preservation of the indigenous genetic resources in Africa.

AnGR-CIM tool is Africa’s first comprehensive paperless data capture tool designed to provide a platform for collecting robust data across African member states on indigenous animal genetic resources.

While recognizing the experts for developing the AnGR tool, Ambassador Sacko said the use of the tool would contribute greatly to the future evidence –based policy formulation and effective conservation strategies for the indigenous livestock of Africa.

Commenting on her award, Muigai who is a Professor of Genetics in the Department of Botany thanked God for the opportunity to serve the farmers of Africa and for JKUAT for giving her the space to discharge the mandate.

The AnGR-CIM tool was designed by Africans for Africans and has been piloted in eight African countries and will now be used to collect accurate and up to date data in all the African member states.

Other Taxonomy Advisory Group members are drawn from Uganda, Tunisia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania.

In February this year, Prof. Muigai joined the World Health Organization (WHO) advisory committee on developing global standards for governance and oversight of human genome editing.

She joined a global multi-disciplinary professional panel of 18 experts who are to examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges associated with human genome editing; both somatic and germ cell.

In 2016 Prof Muigai, jointly with her collaborators from Cambridge University published in the Nature Journal the discovery of fossilized bones of a group of prehistoric hunter-gathers.

These are probably members of an extended family who were violently killed approximately 10,000 years ago in Nataruk, 30km west of Lake Turkana.

The Nataruk massacre was the earliest record of inter-group violence among prehistoric hunter-gatherers who were largely nomadic.

The warfare was probably as a result of a fight for resources, the water food from the animals and fish.

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