The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) aims to facilitate a contemporary research approach to the study of genomics and environmental determinants of common diseases with the goal of improving the health of African populations.
H3ABioNet is the Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3Africa. This initiative is comprised of 32 Bioinformatics research groups distributed amongst 15 African countries and 2 partner Institutions based in the USA. This network is designed for supporting H3Africa researchers and their projects. One of its many goals is to gather all genomics data from the project and archive it, along with enriched metadata, in the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA).
As a result of H3Africa and EGA collaboration, the first datasets are now available, under controlled access to interested research groups. The project, The Southern African Human Genome Programme (SAHGP), goal is to contribute significantly to the understanding of DNA variation among southern Africans and how this impacts on the health of the people of this region. As described in the corresponding publication (Nature Communications), ~16 million unique variants have been identified via deep whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 24 individuals Bantu-speakers and the sequencing and array datasets generated by this study have now been added to our archive.
Further projects and challenging submissions are expected in the year ahead (2018). For instance, remarkable advances have been recorded for TrypanoGen, which is an international collaborative research network applying an integrated approach to the study of vector-borne zoonotic disease (currently focussed on human susceptibility to African trypanosomiasis).