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20th October 2021
Welcome to issue 45 of the DrumBeat!

In this issue, we continue to celebrate the good news from Nigeria, as the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), secured an approval for environmental release of the drought tolerant and insect resistant TELA Maize with effect from October 8, 2021. This now places Nigeria one-step closer to commercializing biotech maize and becoming the second African county after South Africa. Read more.

A clarion call by key stakeholders during the just concluded ABBC2021 Symposium was the need to position Africa as a leader in genome editing by consolidating research efforts. Needs assessment and stakeholder consultation will be key in identifying Africa context-specific priority areas of application. Moreso, effective communication is crucial in averting mixed perceptions, as what has largely been ascribed to preceding tools like genetic modification. In our Story of the month, we feature views from one of our key Guest Speaker, Prof Aggrey Ambali who is the Head of Science, Technology and Innovation Hub (NSTIH) at the Africa Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-NEPAD) on nurturing an enabling environment for genome editing research and adoption.

Cotton is recognized as significant priority crop in almost all African countries and more so in Malawi where they have recently commercialized Bt cotton to enhance production and control pests. Watch our Video of the Month and learn more from Malawian experts, their country's preparedness and journey with Bt cotton.

Remember to share with a colleague, visit, subscribe to our YouTube channel for some interesting videos, we will be waiting for your feedback.

Enjoy your ready and stay safe!


Bt Cotton in Malawi

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Dr. Margaret Karembu, ISAAA AfriCenter Director and Co- Convener ABBC 2021

Prof. Aggrey Ambali

AUDA-NEPAD's call for support of genome editing: Why investing in this novel technology is key in accelerating Africa's scientific development

Modern science, technologies and innovations (STIs) continue to gain traction and play a key role in our contemporary world. Their applications now traverse across practically all the key sectors of human sustenance economic development and wellbeing - from agriculture and food production/security to industrial and manufacturing, as well as health and medicine sectors.

Country / Region Crop Modified Trait Date of approval
Nigeria Corn/maize Drought-tolerant and insect-resistance October 10th 2021
Philippines Cotton Herbicide Tolerance August 5th 2021
Philippines Corn Herbicide Tolerance August 5th 2021
Philippines Corn Stacked- Herbicide Tolerance and Insect Resistance August 5th 2021
United Nations Biodiversity Conference COP15 Opens with a Strong Call to Safeguard Nature

United Nations Biodiversity Conference COP15 Opens with a Strong Call to Safeguard Nature

The first part of the UN Biodiversity Conference kicked off on Monday 11 October 2021, with a strong call by head of delegations to repair mankind’s broken relationship with nature. Running under the theme "Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth", COP15 aims to review the "Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework" and draw a blueprint for biodiversity conservation. Read more here.

China white paper on biodiversity sets agenda for COP15

China white paper on biodiversity sets agenda for COP15

China, the host of United Nations Biodiversity Conference COP15, released a white paper on diversity conservation. The white paper sets the agenda for COP15, and offers the world a roadmap for conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. Read more here.

ABSTC-ISBR Student Scholarships

ABSTC-ISBR Student Scholarships

A great opportunity to showcase your work in biotechnology, network with experts in the field, and advance your career! Read more here.