Position Statements on Biotechnology
A National Biotechnology Strategy for South Africa
"The first century of the new millennium will not only belong to information and communications technology, as we are often led to believe, but also to biotechnology, and its immense potential to contribute to human and animal health, agriculture and food production, manufacturing and sustainable development". Dr. Ben Ngubane, South Africa's Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, stressed this point during his welcome address at the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, a parallel event to the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Minister Ngubane said that while South Africa has a solid history of engagement in traditional biotechnology, it has failed to exploit recent advances in biotechnology. Thus, South Africa has designed a National Biotechnology Strategy to enable it to catch up with the progress of other developing countries like Cuba, Brazil and China. Key recommendations include the establishment of a government agency to champion biotechnology, proactive investment in human resources development and the strengthening of scientific and technological capabilities.
Though Minister Ngubane said that there was a need to continuously assess biotechnology programs within the framework of the South African constitution and to ensure that the country protects its own intellectual property rights. He stressed that technological innovation is essential for human progress.
and Agricultural Organization
Society of African Scientists
United States of America
Biotechnology Advisory Committee
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