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Crop Biotech Update

Kenyan Scientists Embrace Social Media

May 20, 2015

Biotechnology experts from the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the Kenya University Biotechnology Consortium (KUBICO) undertook a social media training on 15 May 2015. The training, which was organized by ISAAA AfriCenter under the auspices of the Virus Resistance Cassava for Africa (VIRCA) project, aimed to develop the scientists' appreciation for social media, as well as improve their understanding of various online tools that can be beneficial to their projects.

Speaking on behalf of Dr. Simon Gichuki, the Head of the Biotechnology Center at KALRO and Principal Investigator of the VIRCA project, Dr. Joyce Malinga noted with concern that "prominent scientists in Kenya are not on social media platforms" where a lot of debate on the technology is taking place. She challenged the workshop participants "to be more open minded towards social media tools" and welcomed the training, adding that "we should have more similar trainings to empower scientists to utilize these tools."

The workshop was crowned by an afternoon practical session that saw scientists learning how to engage with a variety of social media tools. By the end of the workshop, all the participants had Twitter accounts and Wordpress blogs which they vowed to develop further in order to contribute to the biotechnology discourse online. In his closing remarks, Mr. Hannington Obiero of the VIRCA project, said that the training was "definitely an eye opener that provides a new channel of communication for scientists."

For more information, contact Dr. Margaret Karembu at