Biotech Updates

The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology Launched in Ghana

August 26, 2011

The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology was launched in Ghana on 18 August 2011. The forum brings together stakeholders in biotechnology and enables interactions between scientists, journalists, civil society, law makers and policy makers on all aspects of biotechnology. They are expected to arrive at recommendations on the way forward with the technology in their respective countries.

Sherry Ayittey, Ghanaian Minister of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), launched the Ghana chapter. She noted that biotechnology is a vital tool which could contribute considerably to the country's food security. "It is therefore necessary to embrace the initiative to create an open forum to dialogue on the many issues that surround modern biotechnology. It is known that many developed countries thrive on biotechnology products," she added.

Ayittey mentioned that the passage of the Biosafety Bill in Ghana was a clear indication of the government's support for the technology and science as a whole, and noted that President John Evans Atta Mills would append his signature to the bill very soon for its full implementation.

The forum launch was organized by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) in collaboration with the Ghana Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and was attended by stakeholders in the region including partner institutions from Ghana, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. OFAB-Ghana is the sixth chapter to be launched after the Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt and Nigeria initiatives. Ghana passed its Biosafety Bill into law on June 21, 2011, two weeks after Nigeria and research on Bt cowpea and nutrient enhanced potatoes is underway.

For more information on the launch, contact Professor Eucharia Kenya, technical associate at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), at Visit the OFAB website at