African Genomics Data Science Workshop

Webinar series


The African Society of Human Genetics was established in 2003 with the central goal of building capacity of the African scientific community and policymakers to contribute to the field of genetics research and to attract global attention to African genomic research and researchers. Almost two decades later, the AfSHG members have contributed to the expansion of the Genomic Research field in Africa. This workshop will introduce participants to African Genetic Diversity through webinars from a select number of AfSHG members (please note, the webinars will be open to the public). These talks will be solidified by background lectures, some case studies and hands-on tutorial sessions to introduce and highlight some key areas of research and provide some practical examples/exercises for participants to work on.

Overall Learning Outcomes

This module will provide graduates with the core theoretical foundations and technical skills necessary to carry out African genomics research. The uniqueness about this course is led by members of the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG).

Workshop Design

Area Area, Activities Duration
  • Key readings will be shared before the time
  • The practical manual will be shared a month before, software and data that need to be installed before-hand will be highlighted
Approximately 3 days
  Daily intro

An introductory talk. This will outline how the webinar, practicals and background are linked.

5-10 mins

These are lunchtime webinars which will be open to the public (These will be live) This will be delivered by senior researchers from the African Society of Human Genetics who have a track record in their area. The webinars will be open to everyone and widely distributed by both stakeholders. The webinars will be prerecorded and the presenters will only be present to answer questions

1 hour
  Background lectures

These will give background to the material for the day. This lecture explain how the webinar, the case studies and the practical sessions are linked (these will be pre-recorded).

30 - Background
Case studies Researchers working on African populations will present their work (these will be pre-recorded) 30 mins
Practical sessions Afternoon


Day Module description Webinar (Online) Background (This will be given by 3 researchers who will travel to Ireland) Case studies (30 mins) Practical Session
1 This session aims to introduce participants to the African genomes and highlights the need to discover new disease gene associations in these populations through case studies. Ambroise Wonkam:
14 November
Title: History and architecture of the African Genomes, principle of population structure/admixture and Gene Discovery
Lecturer: Valentina Ngo Bitoungui & Emile Chimusa, Tinashe Chikowore Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain why African genomes are unique
  • Describe key publications on African genomes
  • Describe monogenic diseases
  • Describe the importance of identifying novel genes in Africa

Indicative Content:

Topic: Disease-gene associations

Samuel Adadey: Hearing Loss African Specific Variants: From Detection to Policy

Valentina Ngo Bitoungui: Kidney Dysfunction of Sickle Cell Disease

Guida Landoure:
Rokhaya Ndiaye: Genetics of Breast Cancer in African Populations

Topic: Novel gene identification using NGS
2 Cross-population applicability of genomics results and the design of a genotyping array for African populations Ananyo Choudhury
Development of the H3Africa Chip 15 November
Title: Computational Population Genomics and Applicability of Genomic Tools on African Populations.
Lecturer: Emile Chimusa
Learning outcomes:
  • Describe how the current arrays are insufficient for African genomes
  • Discuss GWAS, Admixture mapping
  • Link the webinar, case studies
Topic: Ghada
Collet Dandara
Topic: Evolutionary history of sickle-cell mutation: implications for global genetic medicine-Kevin Kum Esoh Ghada Kamah: Medical Genetic Services
Topic:Genome-wide association studies for African populations. South African TB populations.
Tutors: Tinashe Chikowore & Emile Chimusa
3 Opportunities – why African genomic diversity is important Segun Fatumo Complex disease-gene associations 16 November Title: Introduction to Polygenic risk scores methods and tools/ transferability
Lecturer: Tinashe Chikowore and Emile Chimusa
  • Understand the theory behind different
  • Highlight limitations of the tools in general and for African populations
Leon Mutesa/Clarisse Musanabaganwa
Topic: Epigenetics and Trauma

Michele Ramsay: AWIGEN Study

Topic: ??? Dr Amadou Gaye

Topic: Polygenic risk scores
Tutors: Tinashe Chikowore & Emile Chimusa
Learning outcomes: How to calculate polygenic risk scores
4 Infectious disease genomics on the African continent Webinar: Professor Chris Happi
17 November

Background: Evolutionary Analyses of Infectious Diseases in Africa

Lecturer: Richard Daodu, Tinashe

Topic: Human-Tuberculosis Co-evolution in African Populations:
Prof Scott Williams

Topic: Malaria Genomics in Africa
Dr Anita Ghansay

Topic: HIV epidemiology and molecular evolution
Dr Nobubelo Ngandu

Topic: Vaccine design for Infectious diseases Tutors:, Ireland?

Learning outcomes:
Bioinformatics processes in developing vaccines for neglected infectious diseases

Topic: Dataset - Richard

5 Project proposals and ethics

Webinar: Dr Nchangwi Syntia Munung

Topic: Ethical, legal and social implications in Genomics Research in Africa

Lecturer: Cathal Seoighe

Learning outcomes:

  • Describe why the project proposals are being developed
  • What factors lead to a good collaboration


Case studies: Young Investigators’ Forum
  1. Nadia Kheriji - Genomics of Diabetes
  2. Jade Hotchkiss: Sickle Cell Disease Ontology
  3. Verena Ras: African Bio-genome project

Group proposal writing & submission after 2 weeks.
(32 students: 8 groups of 4 students each).
**Top students Morocco or ICHG2023?
December 12-17
ICHG2023 - February?
**T-shirts AfSHG