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#1 04.04.2018 01:52:41

i/e regjistruar
Registered: 15.11.2016
Posts: 495

It will help fast track adoption of biotechnology

NAIROBI, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A network of African biosafety agencies have ended their week-long conference in Nairobi by resolving to share relevant information on regulatory policies affecting biotechnology in the continent.

The Association of National Biosafety Agencies in Africa (ANBAA) committed to develop regional policies and common approaches to regulatory systems acceptable to countries in the region.

"This is to help reduce trade barriers, facilitate trans-boundary movements of Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) and strengthen expertise across Africa," the agencies said in a joint communique released in Nairobi on Saturday.

The agencies agreed to reduce biosafety risks by collaborating with governments and other institutions to explore mechanisms and policies that are consistent with international guidelines, norms and requirements.

According to the communique, participants agreed to enhance the Pan-African collaboration, networking and joint implementation of programs in biosafety and support compliance to international agreements in Africa.

ANBAA plans to strengthen the African voice on biosafety issues regionally and internationally initiating regional and local training, exchange and mentorship programs.

"We intend to collaborate, share information and enhance safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology in Africa," the communique read.

ANBAA members who have been meeting in Nairobi during the first African biosafety leadership summit sought to unite all regulatory agencies in Africa under an initiative that was spearheaded by of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

The agencies shared experiences and analyzed the key capacity building needs for member countries regarding new and emerging challenges in the development and implementation of workable regulatory frameworks at the national and sub-regional levels.

The participants also discussed emerging issues in the industry including gene editing, synthetic biology and compliance with other international agreements other than Cartagena Protocol.

The conference attracted heads of biosafety regulatory agencies from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, representatives from international agencies, legislators from Uganda and researchers from leading universities from the countries.

Richard Lesiyampe, Kenya's Principal Secretary State Department of Agriculture said that Africa stands to make good gains in promoting good science and regulatory framework through teamwork by experts.

Lesiyampe observed that the formation of the association is one of the important steps to create a strong regulatory framework in the field of biosafety in Africa.

"It will help fast track adoption of biotechnology while ensuring human and animal health, plants and adequate protection of the environment," he added.

He challenged universities in the continent to develop training programs and train students on topics related to biosafety.

Lesiyampe revealed that there are efforts to come up with a curriculum and guidelines on biosafety in the region and also develop an internet based learning (e-learning) certification and accreditation programs.

"As scientists you have to continue with the good work and enhance communication so that populations fully understand the technology and its safety," he added.



04.04.2018 01:52:41



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