Biotech Updates

UNESCO Seeks Entrenchment of Biotech in Africa

March 13, 2013

The United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) wants African governments to commence popularization of biotechnology as the surest route to drive development in the continent.The recommendation came at an international seminar on biotechnology held to formally commission the International Centre for Biotechnology, UNESCO Category 2 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 

UNESCO Director of Basic Sciences Maciej Nalecz said biotechnology would enable Africa to leapfrog competition from other continents because "it already has its hubs, so it does not need to be started from zero." He added that advocacy for and popularization of biotechnology is needed in Africa in order to tackle agricultural-related issues such as food and nutrition safety, drought-resistance and plant diseases among others. To stimulate biotechnology development, Nalecz urged authorities to create physical infrastructure in critical platform technologies and use it to support education and training, create human directly suited to industry needs to drive research and development.

The biotechnology conference marked the official commencement of the International Centre for Biotechnology, UNESCO Category 2, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, following the signing of the MOU between Nigeria and UNESCO in October 2012. The Centre for Biotechnology at UNN was established to provide state of the art laboratory facilities to enhance research, develop research for food security, develop tropical disease research initiatives, and provide training for postgraduate students amongst others.

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