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Int'l Cooperation Update


GSCAAS Alumnus Alfred was Appointed Director General of Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Burundi

Source: Graduate School

Dr. Alfred Niyokwishimira, a 2020 alumnus of Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GSCAAS), has been appointed Director General of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Burundi (ISABU).

Alfred, born in 1979, is the former head of the National Veterinary Laboratory of Bujumbura (2015) and Director of Veterinary Services (2016) under Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock in Burundi. From September 2016 to June 2020, supported by Chinese Government Scholarship, he received education at Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (LVRI-CAAS), and obtained a doctorate degree in preventive veterinary medicine. Alfred loves China and Chinese culture, and he is able to communicate daily and perform academic activities in Chinese, English and French. During his doctoral study, he won the GSCAAS “Outstanding Research Paper Award” of the 2018-2019 academic year, and was awarded “Chinese Government Outstanding International Student Scholarship” in the year of 2019.


Alfred was awarded the “Chinese Government Outstanding International Student Scholarship” in the year of 2019


Alfred after being granted the 2018-2019 GSCAAS “Outstanding Research Paper Award”


During his doctoral study, Alfred conducted a research on the sanitary status of viral diseases of small ruminants in his homeland (Burundi), using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed by Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute. In this joint research, the presence of Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus (PPRV) was identified and characterized for the first time in Burundi. A comprehensive report was drafted and submitted to the authority of livestock of Burundi for quick action. The possibility of the outbreak of PPRV in Burundi was analyzed and presented. Due to the early detection and description of the causative agent of the disease, the Burundi government implemented a contingency plan for the control of PPRV which led to the protection of more than 3 million small ruminants in Burundi.



Alfred during field investigation and laboratory tests


This work was highly commended by Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock of Burundi, and has played a significant role in deepening cooperation between China and Burundi in the field of veterinary medicine, which is also the concrete embodiment of the implementation of Sino-African science and technology cooperation agreement and the Chinese Agricultural Science and Technology “Going Global” strategy.


The Certificate of Recognition issued by Minister of Agriculture and Livestock in Burundi


Alfred's research on prevention and control of PPRV has been also highly recognized by the African Union. As one of the 10 young African researchers invited by the African Union, he participated in the 2nd Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) Global Research and Expertise Networks (PPR-GREN) meeting, in Nairobi-Kenya from 13-15 November, 2019 and presented a keynote speech. Due to his outstanding academic performance and excellent leadership, Dr. Alfred Niyokwishimira was appointed Director General of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Burundi on August 25, 2020, and continues to actively promote Sino-Burundi agricultural scientific and technological innovation and collaboration.


Alfred accompanied Burundi President Evariste Ndayimishimiye and Li Changlin, Chinese Ambassador to Burundi, to attend the Handover Ceremony of China-Aid agricultural technology demonstration center


In recent years, based on the advantages of science and technology education resources, GSCAAS has established a management system for the admission, teaching, training, student service, degree granting and quality assurance of international students. In 2019, GSCAAS passed the “Quality Certification of International Education and Management of Higher Education Institutions in China”. GSCAAS created an educational brand “Study in CAAS” with the advantages of agriculture and life sciences, with our main focus on postgraduate education, and with international PhD students training as our feature. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), 325 international students had graduated from GSCAAS, which is nearly three times more than those during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015). After graduation, GSCAAS alumni are able to put their knowledge into practice in their homeland and continue to engage in agricultural research and management. This will expand the impact of Chinese education in agricultural science and technology worldwide, and contribute agricultural technology wisdom to the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Chinese agriculture “Going Global”, to build a community with a shared future for mankind.


                                                By Dongyiwei (dongyiwei@caas.cn)