Sharing experiences: Experts from the CSIR pictured with a delegation of the NEPAD Agency African Biosafety Network of Expertise during a tour of the CSIR Biosciences Park.
The CSIR, in collaboration with AfricaBio and the NEPAD-led African Biosafety Network of Expertise recently hosted a group of regulators and journalists from 11 African countries. The purpose of their tour was to promote the sharing of knowledge and experience between regulators from countries with new and emerging biosafety systems with countries such as South Africa, with its developed biosafety system.
Remi Akanbi, Director: Projects and Operations at AfricaBio had this to say about the tour: “This will help in developing capacity and expertise in biotechnology and biosafety regulation, their implementation and enforcement, with the view of creating an enabling environment for biotechnology to thrive in African countries.”
The tour included workshop sessions which provided an overview of the divergent and cross-cutting issues related to agricultural biotechnology; its applications and biosafety in South Africa; economic development potential for African agriculture and food security; as well as several field and laboratory tours.
Some of the facilities visited during the tour included the CSIR Biosciences Park which boasts Biosafety Level 3 laboratories equipped with the latest cutting-edge equipment ranging from diagnostic, advanced biomedical, proteomics capabilities, to fermentation, algal reactors, and greenhouses.
As part of their visit to South Africa, the delegates also had an opportunity to touch base with institutions like the Department of Science and Technology, the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, and the Agricultural Research Council’s Biotechnology Platform.