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An overview of plant biotechnology in South and Sub-Saharan Africa

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Title: An overview of plant biotechnology in South and Sub-Saharan Africa


1
Biotechnology Stakeholders Association
2
Why was AfricaBio created?
  • Provide biotechnology stakeholders with a
    platform for biotechnology in SA and Africa
  • To address a strong misinformation campaign in SA
    media on modern biotechnology
  • The information was European with no reference or
    relevance to African conditions
  • Our experience had shown that there was relevance
    for biotechnology in Africa
  • A moratorium would prevent South Africa accessing
    and testing relevant technologies

3
AfricaBio was initiated by
  • Academics
  • Food retailers
  • Life science and seed companies
  • Food producers
  • National research organisations
  • (Focused on food and agriculture)
  • until 2002

4
Mission statement
  • AfricaBio seeks to promote the enhancement of
    life through the safe,ethical and responsible
    development and application of biotechnology and
    the products derived from it.
  • Non-profit, non-political, Section 21 Company
  • Biotechnology Stakeholders Association

5
AfricaBios role
  • Make available accurate information.
  • Encourage informed debate.
  • Promote safe, ethical and responsible use of
  • biotechnology.

  • Interact with government and civil society.
  • Interact with international bodies.
  • Provide education and training.
  • Stimulate new biotechnology development

6
AfricaBios Structure
  • Board of Governors
  • 9 board members
  • RepCongo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa
  • Team of 8-12 staff
  • Working Groups
  • Public Awareness and Media
  • Scientific Research
  • Education Training
  • Policy and Food Chain Working Group

7
Current Membership August 2002
  • 90 members
  • Academics
  • Educational institutes and schools
  • Food retailers
  • Food processors
  • Food distributors and associated industries
  • Food producers (farmers organisations)
  • National RD institutes
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Invited guests
  • Consumer organisations
  • Government and regulators

8
Information dissemination
  • Web-site query option www.africabio.com
  • Newsletter BioLines
  • Press releases and media forums
  • Workshops and Conferences e.g. WSSD planning
  • Information brochures (local languages)
  • Presentations industry, civil society

9
Some Current Projects
  • Communication
  • Consumer research
  • Education and Training e.g. industry, schools,
    communities
  • Small-scale farmer research
  • Support to policy development
  • SMME support bioincubator
  • Networking in Africa and internationally

10
Public Awareness
  • Consumers, Industry and Regulators agree that
    consumers have a right to know what they are
    eating
  • Labels will assist a small percentage of African
    consumers, but are costly and give little
    information (CODEX)
  • Awareness campaigns needed to reach the general
    public
  • GOAL informed decision making

11
A credible awareness campaign
  • 75 South Africans do not know about
    GMOs(FEST-2001)
  • Balanced and accurate information that addresses
    benefits and concerns
  • Who should inform the public?
  • 17 government
  • 15 industry
  • 32 nutritionist
  • 31 biotechnology association
  • (Pretoria Technikon , 2001)

12
Networking
  • AfricaBio recognised internationally
  • Collaborate, dont duplicate
  • Africa
  • SARB
  • ABSF
  • SABRAD
  • BTA
  • BTZ
  • FAO
  • UNEP
  • Rockefeller public awareness project
  • Internationally
  • Provide information on biotechnology needs and
    activities in Africa
  • Initiate and develop partnerships

13
Contact details
  • E-mail africabio_at_mweb.co.za
  • Tel 27 12 667 2689
  • Fax 27 12 667 1920
  • Web-site www.africabio.com
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