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The Regional Approach to Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy in Eastern and Southern Africa (RABESA) Regional Workshop
Hilton Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya
30 May 2006 - 31 May 2006
ECAPAPA, COMESA, ASARECA, PBS, ACTS


Agenda Reports

Workshop brief

FANRPAN Participates in RABESA Regional Workshop, May 30-31, 2006

The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and The East and Central Programme for Agricultural Policy Analysis (ECAPAPA) are currently jointly undertaking multi-country studies on Biotechnology and Biosafety in nine African countries. The ECAPAPA of ASARECA1 working jointly with the COMESA and ACTS2 Nairobi is implementing the Regional Approach to Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy in Eastern and Southern Africa (RABESA) studies in 6 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Egypt). FANRPAN, on the other hand, is implementing the Regional Approach to Biosafety in Southern African Countries (RABSAC) studies focusing on three Southern African countries (Mauritius, South Africa and Malawi).

FANRPAN participated in the RABESA regional workshop, which was held on 30-31 May 2006 at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. The FANRPAN CEO, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda and the RABSAC regional program coordinator, Mr. Manus Gouse of the University of Pretoria, represented FANRPAN at the meeting.

Objectives of the regional workshop

Broad Objective

To generate an advisory paper for COMESA ministers of agriculture and ministers of trade on the most appropriate approaches to developing and managing agriculture and trade involving GM crops and products.

Specific Objectives

  1. To appraise regional policy makers on the RABESA study findings on GMOs, farm income, trade and food security in the COMESA/ASARECA countries.


  2. Obtain broader stakeholder input into the RABESA country study findings.


  3. To assess options and recommend approaches for harmonizing policies and regulations for trade, agriculture and food security in GMOs in the COMESA region.
The workshop, attended by over 80 delegates representing eighteen countries was an apex event in the implementation of the RABESA initiative. It was a culmination of national consultative meetings held in six RABESA case study countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Egypt) in the COMESA3/ASARECA region. The meeting brought together practitioners and senior government officials in policy making positions from the ministries of trade, agriculture, environment and national biosafety focal points from the COMESA member states. The RABESA research findings on the potential implications of GMOs on trade and food security were presented and discussed. Participants deliberated on a range of regional policy options that COMESA should put in place to address the anticipated challenges.

Outcomes from the meeting

  1. Regional consensus and position on issues of GMOs, trade and food security in the COMESA / ASARECA countries proposed.


  2. Comprehensive advisory paper for regional policy makers on the harmonization of approaches in agriculture and trade involving GMOs.

Footnotes:
  1. The association for the Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is a non political organization of the National Agricultural Research institutes of ten countries: Burundi, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda. ASARECA aims at increasing the efficiency of agricultural research in the region so as to facilitate economic growth, food security and export competitiveness and sustainable agriculture.


  2. The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) is a Nairobi based science, technology and environment policy Inter-governmental Organization (IGO) that generates and disseminates new knowledge through policy analysis and outreach. The center's mission is to strengthen the capacity of African countries and institutions to harness science and technology for sustainable development.


  3. The Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) was founded in 1994 as a successor to the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA), which was established in 1981. The main focus of COMESA is promotion of the regional economic integration and prosperity through trade and investment. With its 20 member states, population of over 385 million people and annual import bill of approximately US$32 billion, COMESA is the largest trading bloc in Africa.


The RABESA Regional Workshop
30 - 31 May 2006
RABESA Regional Workshop

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