Biotech Updates

UNIDO DG Routes for Biotech, Biofuels in Africa

February 9, 2007

The Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Dr Kandeh Yumkellah, has called on African scientists and leaders to make Africa a world leader in biofuels production.
Speaking in Nairobi Monday, February 5 during the monthly Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB 4) initiated by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Dr Yumkellah, said Africa had the greatest potential to supply the world with biofuels but that it would only be able to do so if right policies are put in place and scientists given adequate support to conduct research.

He said it would be sad for scientists in Africa, including those serving under the CGIAR on the continent, just to sit back only for them to come back 15 years later to conduct retrogressive research on how and why Africa lost again in the on-going agricultural biotechnology and biofuels revolutions.

The DG said Africa could produce enough cassava, palm oil, sugar cane, maize, among other crops and trees to produce biofuels for the continent and for export. However, he said that for an agricultural revolution there would have to be formed strong public and private partnerships to marshal new technologies and investments.He promised UNIDO support and asked AATF through its Executive Director, Dr Mpoko Bokanga, to help rally African farmers, scientists and leaders for a sustainable agricultural revolution so that the continent can be food secure and also produce surplus for biofuels’ generation.

For more information contact the African Agricultural Technology Foundation ate-mail: