JKUAT Don Honoured by African Union

Mr. Kiunjuri (left) and Ambassador Sacko jointly present the award to Prof. Muigai during the function in Nairobi

Professor Anne Muigai, a member of the African Union Animal Genetic Resources Taxonomy Advisory Group, is amongst 15 Taxonomy Advisory Group (TAG) experts recognized Wednesday June 12, 2019 by the African Union for her outstanding contribution to the development of the Animal Genetic Resource Characterization and Inventory and Monitoring (AnGR-CIM) tool for Africa.

The award, presented to her by her excellency Ambassador Josefa Correia Sacko, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture (REA) of the African Union , and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary  for Agriculture , Livestock  and Fisheries Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri , recognized  the experts’ invaluable  commitment  and dedication to the conservation and preservation of the indigenous genetic resources  of 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.

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.

Commenting on her award, Prof. 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.

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

Prof Muigai with her award after the function

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