Africa and Biotechnology

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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gmoafrica
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Africa and Biotechnology

Post by gmoafrica » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:16 am

I have just made an entry (http://www.gmoafrica.org/2006/07/africa ... ht-to.html) in my Gmo Africa Blog, which appeals to African countries to hasten the adoption of modern biotechnology.

I was motivated to author this post by news that a panel of eminent scientists and policy makers from Africa, led by Prof. Calestous Juma of Harvard University School of Government and Ismail Serageldin of the Library of Alexandria, Egypt, has developed a draft report on how biotechnology can contribute to the continent’s development.

The authors of the report are currently collecting views from the public before submitting the report to the annual summit of African heads of state in January 2007. This report seeks to define Africa’s position on biotechnology.

Currently, African countries lack a common position on biotechnology. This situation has bred confusion wrought by various interest groups as they compete to have an upper hand in the debate about biotechnology. The end loser has been Africa’s agriculture and the health industry.

Africa only sees biotechnology through the lenses of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Africa seems to least understand that biotechnology is being applied in drugs research. These are important facts that must be brought to the attention of the public and African leaders. Time has come for Africa to join the rest of the world in appreciating the role of biotechnology in economic development. The first step to do this is for African heads of state to adopt a common position on biotechnology. This common position MUST be to usher in biotechnology in the continent without pre-conditions.

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