Governing biotechnology in Africa

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  • 10 years ago
  • Posted: June 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Biotechnology in Africa is a concept that has not been fully embraced by the Africans. The begging question remains; what is the continent doing to catch up with the rest like Europe?
In a foretold analysis, Africa should adopt the co-evolutionary approach, where consumer protection goes hand in hand with development of technology itself.

In particular, new stakeholder partnership, awareness campaign and innovation competitions need to be created to facilitate public awareness and education on issues of biotechnology. Moreover, more emphasis should be put on maximizing the benefits associated with new technologies while reducing their negative impacts.

More so, the African continent need to consider the long-term implications of non-adoption of emerging technologies in order to develop and harmonize regional regulations governing regional integration, research and development, safety and trade in biotechnology products and services.

The assessment of biotechnology related risks should be put in place for effective, quick and safe regulations. And in order to achieve this, there is dire need for Africa’s regulatory institutions on biotechnology to be transparent and agitate for high quality scientific capacities.

This in essence remain a task for the Africa Science and innovation council to create a complimentary organ in the regional innovation communities to harmonize legislation and measures based on international, continental and individual country good practices in the context of emerging regional innovation communities.

The notion to develop such framework is to co-evolutionize the regulatory framework and technology development.
Critical for the continent in harmonizing regulations and promoting biotechnology missions, the pan African Parliament is an ideal institution as a focal point to address the issue.

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However, regional and continental programmes on biotechnology ought to be given emphasis and priority, depending on the strength of PAP.  In view of this, PAP requires an advisory mechanism to provide evidence-based policy studies and equipping it with technology monitoring capabilities.

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