Biotech Updates

Technical Advisory Committee of ABNE Holds Annual Meeting in Cairo

December 2, 2015

The African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) is a program to build the capacity of African regulators of biotech crop through training, advisory services, study tours and access to science-based information led by the African Union's New Economic Program for African Development (NEPAD) from the program's offices in Burkina Faso and Uganda. On July 16-18, 2015, the program's Technical Advisory Committee met in Cairo to assess the program's progress and consider its plans to empower regulators in additional African countries to review risk assessments and consider applications for testing and deployment of biotech crop technologies.

The meeting was hosted by Prof. Magdy Madkour, Ain Shams University, who serves as a member of the technical advisory committee. The program included a visit and tour of the Agricultural Research Center's Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI). Members of the advisory committee from the United States, India and Africa commended ABNE for its progress in providing useful services to members of national and institutional biosafety committees and urged the program to help five countries to reach the stage of considering an application for an initial confined field trial and another five to reach the stage of reviewing a risk assessment for the general release of biotech crops that it judges to be safe and productive. The ultimate goal of ABNE is to open up new, safe, and useful technology options to African farmers.

ABNE program should be able to provide a leadership across Africa to ensure that Africans ideally move away from just testing materials in the field to real commercialization and to bring about new positive scenarios to the entire agricultural sector in Africa.

For more details, contact Dr. Naglaa Abdallah at