Biotech Updates

ABNE East Africa Regional Biosafety Training Workshop

July 23, 2010

A regional Biosafety Workshop took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from July 14 to 16, 2010 with the theme "Understanding Risk Assessment, Risk Management and Decision Making Processes". The workshop aimed  to educate biosafety regulators on risk assessment and management processes for the commercialization of GM crops and importation of GM products for food and feed. They were trained on the regulatory administrative processes for the review of applications for commercialization of GM crops and importation of GM products. Participants were exposed to decision documents and decision making processes, in the commercialization and importation of food and feed derived from GM crops. They were also introduced to effective risk communication strategies and had an opportunity to network and share experiences with their counterparts from other countries and international biosafety experts.

The participants were drawn from National Biosafety Committees, Institutional Biosafety Committees, Plant Quarantine Officers, Scientific Advisory Committees and officers from Government Agencies involved in regulating agricultural biotechnology in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. They gave positive feedback but expressed the need for additional capacity building activities to expose them to risk assessment, management processes and communication training. Thus, follow-up training workshops to build on this introductory training workshop was highly recommended.

The training was organized by the African Union - NEPAD Agency; the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE). It is the first of a series of training sessions that ABNE will be conducting in partnership with other biosafety service providers in the region to build capacity of regulators on post-confined field trial related activities. Based on the feedback and needs assessments, ABNE will design and organize follow up training sessions that are country focused.

For more information, visit the ABNE website on or contact Allan Liavoga at