GenPath Africa First Annual Meeting

One year into the project, the GenPath Africa consortium came together at the Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI) in Cape Town, South Africa, for its first in-person meeting on May 27-28, 2024.

GenPath Africa First Annual Meeting

On day one, the meeting commenced with a warm welcome from GenPath Africa’s coordinator Tulio de Oliveira (Stellenbosch University) and continued with in-depth presentations of the individual work packages. We discussed the project’s ongoing efforts to expand next-generation sequencing of multiple pathogens to respond to current and future epidemics, learned about aims to optimize methods of identifying current and emerging drug-resistant TB strains, and reflected on the advances in establishing a wastewater surveillance system in Kenya and South Africa. We also gained insights into GenPath Africa’s data management plans and the project’s capacity building efforts, which include in-depth training in genomic sequencing and analysis for African scientists. Day one ended with an overview of communication and dissemination tools and processes put in place during the project’s first year to help the consortium maximize visibility and uptake of its results in the coming years.

On the second day, the meeting continued with a presentation on project management activities, followed by an in-depth discussion on ethics considerations during past and future project activities, and a look at GenPath Africa’s role within the GenEpi Network, a collaboration between five research projects working together to strengthen genomic epidemiology in Sub-Saharan Africa. Taking full advantage of our first chance to meet in person, the meeting concluded with a fun virtual reality challenge, during which project members could test their teamwork and communication skills.

LINQ manages GenPath Africa and supports the project with a wide range of activities, including project management and networking, setting up efficient workflows to streamline activities, reporting and monitoring progress, coordinating communication between the consortium and managing the dissemination of results. LINQ has also taken an active role in coordinating the Communications and Policy Translation Working Group within the GenEpi Network and supports efforts to strengthen the network’s visibility and uptake of results within this collaboration and beyond.

We want to thank everyone who attended GenPath Africa’s first annual meeting and made it such a success! It was a great opportunity for the consortium to come together, engage in lively and productive discussion and exchange many exciting ideas for future work together.

About GenPath Africa:

GenPath Africa is a 48-month project funded by the European Union under its Research and Innovation Programme Horizon Europe. It is supported by the Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking, which builds on the first and second European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) programmes. This joint undertaking is a partnership between the EU and the EDCTP Association, whose members are several European and African countries. The partnership will deliver new solutions for reducing the burden of infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa and strengthen research capacities to prepare and respond to re-emerging infectious diseases in this region and across the world.

You can learn more about GenPath Africa on our project website.