Crop Biotech Update

NEPAD Biosafety Network Approves 2010 Work Plan

February 19, 2010

The Technical Advisory Committee of the NEPAD African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) held its inception meeting on February 4-5, 2010 at the Kunduchi Beach Hotel & Resort, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The six-member committee comprises senior and experienced Africans representing all geographical regions of the continent. The Technical Advisory Committee meeting was preceded by a two-day Management Committee meeting.

ABNE is an Africa-based, Africa-led, continent-wide service network established by the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency to provide regulators with access to the most up-to-date training and science-based information to regulate biotechnology. ABNE is established to be a permanent resource to regulators to coordinate a continent-wide focus on crop biotechnology with the first node based in Burkina Faso. ABNE offers multidisciplinary expertise to service broad components of biosafety systems, including food safety, environmental safety, socio-economic impact, intellectual property and legal issues.

The Technical Advisory Committee approved ABNE's work plan for 2010 aimed at providing a range of services to regulators including science-based biosafety information through a web portal, training programs (workshops, short courses, internships and study tours), and expert consultations. The Committee acknowledged the contribution of the Government of Burkina Faso in adopting ABNE's host country agreement and commended the ABNE team's efforts in establishing the nodal office in Burkina Faso for project takeoff. The Committee recommended the adoption of innovative approaches to project implementation, training, and communication with stakeholders to achieve the desired impact. An official launch of ABNE was approved and scheduled for April 2010 by the Committees.

Email Prof. Diran Makinde of ABNE at diran.makinde@nepadbiosafety.net for additional details.