A workshop to promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing within Africa's freshwater bioinformatics community
FRC will be hosting a 3-day workshop for leaders of projects developing African freshwater biodiversity information systems in Cape Town, South Africa (Provisional date: 8-10 September 2020). The aim of this workshop is for participants to share knowledge, expertise, and lessons learned from existing information systems and the projects associated with them, and to explore avenues for future inter-project collaborations. Sessions will comprise demonstrations of existing platforms and presentations of freshwater biodiversity projects that are just starting out. The program focuses on data challenges, technical design, and stakeholder engagement, and includes opportunities for participants to discuss, share and network. The event will culminate in the establishment of an African bioinformatics forum to promote continued knowledge-sharing and collaboration. The workshop will include participants from JRS Biodiversity Foundation-funded projects, private sector partners, and experts from South Africa, Europe and Australia, including:
• Freshwater Research Centre (FRC)
• Kartoza Open Source Geospatial Solutions
• South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
• South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON)
• South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB)
• Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD)
• Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management (CoEB), University of Rwanda
• Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS)
• National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI)
• Nugsoft Technologies
• National Museums of Kenya (NMK)
• Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT)
• Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)
• Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR)
• Aquahub and the Freshwater Information Platform (Austria)
1. Proceedings and presentations.
2. Refined technical plans at a project level and a concept for follow-on activities.
3. Publications and outreach.
4. A forum for freshwater bioinformatics development in Africa.
Presentations, discussions, and networking opportunities will encourage collaboration and participants will learn how to overcome challenges, build end-user requirements into system design, ensure interoperability between information systems and data repositories, improve stakeholder engagement and sustainability, and ensure their systems influence decision-making and policy at a meaningful level. While the near-term outcomes of this workshop are improved technical roadmaps, it will also foster synergies among the different projects and connect a thriving community of African freshwater bioinformatics experts over the long-term.