NOVEMBER 2, 2023
Africa does not need to harmonize its biosafety laws before enjoying the benefits of the ongoing agricultural revolution powered by biotechnology.
Those remarks were made in Nairobi, Kenya, by Dr Rufus Ebegba, a biosafety expert and former Director General of Nigeria’s National Biosafety Management Agency, during a panel discussion on mainstreaming biotechnology in Africa’s agriculture at the inaugural African Conference on Agricultural Technologies (ACAT).
Extensive collaboration and co-creation “In the last decade, African countries have been struggling with strategies to implement a wholistic program that would harmonize the various country-specific laws into regional and continental-wide laws, but unfortunately, we have not made progress, and this has not only retarded progress but shown that it is not a path to take,” he said.
“The establishment of nascent agencies and policies is possible through extensive collaboration and co-creation with multiple and diverse stakeholders, as has been the case in establishing the biosafety regime in Nigeria.”
He added that it was important for organizations such as the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) to develop strategies capable of helping African countries that do not have biosafety laws to establish such laws that are friendly and constructive towards biotechnology deployment.
Other Speakers at the event include Dr Titus Alicai; Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies at Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Prof Abdullahi Mustapha; Director General of Nigeria’s National Biotechnology Development Agency, Patience Koku; Chief Executive of Replenish Farms, Nigeria and Vitumbiko Chinoko of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) at AATF, who was an early speaker at today’s session.
The ACAT Event ends today third of November, having begun on the 31st of October 2023.