Welcome to SANBio

A platform for shared biosciences research, development and innovation to address health and nutrition issues of Southern Africa.

Our Activities

The Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) is a shared biosciences research, development and innovation platform for working collaboratively to address some of Southern Africa's key biosciences issues in health, nutrition and health-related intervention areas such as agriculture and environment.

SANBio was established in 2005 under the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), as one of the five networks established under the African Biosciences Initiative (ABI), to cover the SADC region. The platform provides access to world-class laboratories for African and international scientists conducting research on African biosciences challenges. The SANBio Hub (the CSIR) hosts and provides financial management and operational support to the Secretariat.  In consultation with the SANBio Secretariat and NEPAD, the Hub ensures that there are structures and systems in place that support the transparent and independent review of Network proposals and progress.


The Network focuses on Agricultural Products  (biocontrol, biosafety, and fertilisers) and Aquaculture (fish farming technologies in communities and schools).                              



In health the Network's focal areas are Human Health, Health-related Agriculture issues, and Health and the environment. These include issues such as Bioprospecting for remedies, Diagnostics, Food drug Interactions, Food allergies, Climate change, Green Technologies, Industrial Biologics, and Genetic Resource Management.



The RD&I programmes under nutrition focus on: Alternative sources of proteins; micronutrients & cabohydrates; Food processing;  Value addition of indigenous foods and neglected foods; Indigenous coping strategies to natural and man-made disaster; and Nutrition education.



The RD&I focus areas on livestock are Animal Production (indigenous breeds and genetics) and Animal Health (therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics).

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What's Happening

Africa-funded project helps small-island nations adapt to perils of climate change

The new project will help small island developing states mitigate and adapt production to changing climate conditions, and make farming practices overall more efficient. Recognizing the disproportionate burden that climate change places on small island developing states (SIDS), FAO will support six African island nations in their efforts to make their agriculture more resilient to climate shocks and boost economic development, the agency said today. Click here for more information

To Discover Africa's Biodiversity, Look to the Soil

South Africa is finally embarking on a long-overdue initiative: mapping the incredible biodiversity in Africa's soils. It will document the microbial life hidden in the ground in sub-Saharan Africa, and the data it derives could help solve the continent's crisis of hunger and food insecurity, and give birth to a new industry. Click here for more information

A CRISPR Platform That Is More Efficient and Controllable 

A collaborative team of researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge has just described their recent work on generating a new CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) genome-editing platform that is freely available and works as a single-step system within every cell of the body and at every stage of development. Click here for more information 

Time to get serious with HIV 1 resistance in sub saharan Africa

In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, John Gregson and colleagues report the results of a meta-analysis investigating HIV-1 drug resistance in 20 studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Gregson and colleagues included patients with failure of first-line tenofovir disproxil fumarate (TDF)-containing antiretroviral treatment (ART) regimens that also included first generation (nevirapine and efavirenz) non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) and a cytosine analogue (lamivudine or emtricitabine) - the WHO-recommended first-line ART regimen. Click here for more information

Southern Africa - Drought Fact Sheet #6, Fiscal Year (FY) 2016

Southern Africa continues to experience the negative effects of El Nino-related drought conditions that began in 2015. The drought has resulted in widespread livestock losses, as well as signficant crop failure resulting in cereal deficits of 9 million metric tons (MT)--including maize deficits of 5 million MT--throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Click here for more information

First New HIV Vaccine Efficacy Study in Seven Years Has Begun

he first HIV vaccine efficacy study to launch anywhere in seven years is now testing whether an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevents HIV infection among South African adults. The study, called HVTN 702, involves a new version of the only HIV vaccine candidate ever shown to provide some protection against the virus. HVTN 702 aims to enroll 5,400 men and women, making it the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine clinical trial to take place in South Africa, where more than 1,000 people become infected with HIV every day. Click here for more information

FAO Africa Agriculture Outlook 2016-2025

This year's FOECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook is a special edition featuring an in-depth look at the opportunities and challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa in the next decade. The 140 page report is a wealth of information thanks to all the resources and talent employed by the UN, FAO, and OECD. We are very fortunate to have individualized predictions for each crop and analysis of which specific factors could trigger growth spurts in the Sub-Saharan agribusiness market.  Click here for more information

Feed Africa: Strategy for Agriculture Transformation in Africa 2016-2025 launched

Agriculture is a major source of income in Africa; however, untapped agricultural potential has contributed to persistent poverty and deteriorating food security, resulting in a projected increase in the number of undernourished people from ~240m in 2015 to ~320m by 2025. Click here for more information