Building infrastructure for African human genomic data management

Genomic and sequencing data are inherently complex and have significant storage requirements. They require a robust infrastructure with well-considered policies to make the most of their potential. While North America and Europe have helped lead the way in this goal, Africa is behind them in the adoption of genomic technologies. Parker et al., of the Human Hereditary and Health in Africa (H3Africa) program, have taken on the challenge of provisioning and managing the infrastructure required to meet the goals of various Africa-based genetic research projects. This paper describes the H3Africa Data Archive, “the first formalized human genomic data archive on the continent.” The authors discuss their process and findings, also noting various challenges that presented during the implementation process, as well as recognizing the various benefits from such a project.

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