The 2nd iLINOVA Summer School was held at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria from the 22nd to 28th November, 2015. The purpose of the Summer School is to deepen the knowledge and skills of scientists and stakeholders in collaborating institutions in the areas of applied animal breeding, science, technology and innovation, project cycle management, etc. The Summer School took place at the Conference Centre and Guest Houses Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Forty Participants from Egerton University, Kenya, Maseno University, Kenya, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi, Pwani University, Kenya, Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Nigeria, Federal University of Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria, Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria, Landmark University, Nigeria and Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, all attended. Participants were mainly experts, staff and postgraduate students of Animal Breeding of Genetics.
Opening remarks was given by Prof. A.A. Amusan, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He used the platform to reiterate the place of the Summer School in the iLINOVA Project and echoed the successes recorded by the project so far in Obafemi Awolowo University, including the establishment of a project coordination office, pastured poultry unit, University-Civil society linkages, funding for field research for postgraduate studies etc. He concluded by warmly welcoming all participants to the Summer School and formally declaring the programme open. Dr. S.O. Oseni who leads the iLINOVA Team in Nigeria, also gave his welcome address on behalf of the iLINOVA-OAU team by emphasizing the importance and contributions of the iLINOVA project as well as wetting the appetite of the participants as regards the different sessions of the programme to be handled by the array of resource-persons all through the Summer School Week.
A total of nine presentations were made. Prof. Bebe (Egerton University, Kenya) made a presentation titled “Action Research in Animal Genetic Resources” where he explained the relevance of applying action research in development interventions and implementations of Global Plan of Action for Indigenous Animal Genetic Resources. Dr. Wasike (Maseno University, Kenya) who presented on “Animal Recording – Procedures, Processes and Prospects” where he was able to outline what Animal Recording is, the importance, stakeholders involved and institutional requirements for a successful animal recording programme. This was followed by Prof. Sonaiya (Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria) who gave a presentation on “Concept notes and grants application” and thus drawing participants’ attention to the core determinants and critical steps required for winning a grant application. The first day was rounded off by Dr. Oseni (Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria) who presented a paper on “Research Trends in Animal Genetic Resources in Africa”. His presentation showed the trends, direction and drivers of research for AnGR across Africa with respect to funding, participation of local and rural communities, breed societies and institutional collaborations that drive the Global Plan of Action (GPA) agenda. In addition, the study sought to assess which of the strategic priority areas of the GPA were captured mostly by research papers.
Days 2 and 3 were devoted to a series of presentations on “Project Cycle Management (PCM)” the main theme for the Summer School which was handled meticulously by Dr. Rewe (Pwani University, Kenya). The focus of PCM was promoting effective delivery of programmatic outcomes through the championing of key competencies in the management of the various aspects and phases of the project cycle among project partners and project staff. Highlights of the session were the group assignments when participants were given the task of conceptualizing project topics and giving a detailed framework of how to implement such projects. The two top project groups were rewarded with cash donations from all Professors present.
Day 4, which was the final day of the presentation week, saw Dr. Muasya (Egerton University, Kenya) presenting twin papers titled “Sustainable breeding programmes for the tropics” and “Community-based breeding and genetic improvement programme” which showed the approaches made by local communities towards conservation of domestic animal breeds. This was followed by Prof. Gondwe (LUANAR, Malawi) who also presented twin papers on “Valuation of Animal Genetic Resources” as well as “FAO-based Phenotypic Characterization of Farm Animal Genetic Resource”. The day was capped off by Dr. Ngeno who made a presentation on “Artificial Insemination of Indigenous chickens, Capacity Building and Implementation. This he made after a week of Artificial Insemination training for Indigenous Fulani Ecotype Chickens for final year undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Department of Animal Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, at the Poultry Unit of the University Teaching and Research Farm.
The Summer School was rounded off by the presentation of Certificates of Participation to participants of the 2nd iLINOVA Summer School by Prof. O.G. Omitogun and Dr. S.I. Ola, the Head of Department of Animal Sciences. In all, participants agreed that they had a very academically stimulating and rewarding Summer School in Nigeria.