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28th May 2024
Welcome to the 71st Edition of The Drumbeat!

Greetings to our vibrant community of readers and contributors! We are thrilled to present to you the latest edition of ISAAA AfriCenter's monthly e-bulletin, The Drumbeat. As always, we bring you the most compelling stories, insightful interviews, and crucial updates from the world of agricultural biotechnology across Africa.

Video of the Month: Pioneering Biosafety in Nigeria

In this edition, our Video of the Month features an exclusive conversation with Dr. Hauwa Ibrahim Jibo, the Acting Director of the Department of Enforcement and Operations at Nigeria's National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA). Dr. Jibo sheds light on the remarkable strides Nigeria has made in approving GMO products since the Biosafety Act's inception in 2015. She attributes this success to the NBMA's firm and decisive leadership, ensuring robust regulation of biotechnology products, from genetically modified crops with stacked genes to LMO fish, trees, and genome-edited products. Watch the full interview to understand how Nigeria is setting a benchmark in biosafety management.

Story of the Month: Insights from Ghana's Biosafety Pioneer

Our Story of the Month features a heartfelt interview with Mr. Eric Okoree, the inaugural and immediate former CEO of Ghana's National Biosafety Authority. Mr. Okoree recounts his experiences and challenges while leading Ghana's biosafety management, offering valuable insights and lessons for similar agencies across the continent. As he embarks on his well-deserved retirement, we extend our best wishes for his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions to biosafety.

Celebrating Biodiversity: A Call to Action

This edition comes shortly after the world commemorated the International Day of Biodiversity on May 22, 2024, under the theme "Be Part of the Plan." The Drumbeat reflects on the critical role biotechnology plays in halting and reversing biodiversity loss. By enabling sustainable food production without expanding agricultural land and reducing the reliance on pesticides and herbicides, biotechnology is a pivotal part of the global strategy for biodiversity conservation. Dive into our detailed article on the subject here .

Newsroom: Addressing GMO Mis/Disinformation

Stay updated with our Newsroom section, where we bring you the latest happenings across Africa aimed at combating misinformation and disinformation about genome editing and GMOs. This month, we spotlight initiatives and events that are fostering a more informed and science-based discourse on biotechnology.

Publications and More

Finally, don't miss our Publications section, where we feature the latest research, reports, and scholarly articles to keep you at the forefront of developments in agricultural biotechnology.

We hope you find this edition both informative and inspiring. As always, we welcome your feedback and look forward to your continued support in promoting biosafety and biotechnology in Africa.

Happy Reading!


Why Nigeria is Leading in Adoption of GMO crops in Africa

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Eric Okoree

Eric Okoree
Ex CEO, National Biosafety Authority (NBA)

Eric Okoree, the Man who transformed Ghana's Biosafety System

Eric Okoree is confident Ghana's National Biosafety Authority (NBA) is set for stratospheric heights even without him, feeling an increasingly strong sense of goodwill from policymakers, researchers and farmers. He speaks with so much passion about the NBA, and this future thrills him, yet he will be admiring whatever comes next from someplace else. At 61, he has just retired from his position as CEO of the NBA. Okoree sat at the helm of the country's regulator for eight years as the founding CEO. Read more

From Our Newsroom
Zambian Biotech Experts Chart the Course for Genome Editing in the Country

Zambian Biotech Experts Chart the Course for Genome Editing in the Country

Misinformation and poor public perceptions about modern biotechnology could derail Africa's bid to tap into the potential of genome editing to increase agricultural productivity in the face of climate change. This emerged during a biotechnology workshop for Zambian biotech scientists and regulators co-organized by the International Institute of ... Read more.

Kenya Steps up Efforts in Fight Against Biosafety Misinformation

Kenya Steps up Efforts in Fight Against Biosafety Misinformation

Kenya is seeking to strengthen its biosafety communication strategies in a bid to effectively combat biosafety-related misinformation and enhance public trust on science-based biosafety decisions. This emerged during a biosafety communication training held in Nairobi on May 2-3, 2024. Speaking during the workshop ... Read more.

Kenyan Varsity Launches a Biosafety and Biosecurity Program

Kenyan Varsity Launches a Biosafety and Biosecurity Program

Kenya's Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) has launched its pioneering Biosafety and Biosecurity degree program heralded as a transformative initiative in biosafety training in the country. MMUST Vice Chancellor Prof. Charles Mutai lauded the program's uniqueness and its potential to address the critical shortage of qualified professionals in biosafety ... Read more

ICGEB signs an MoU with ISAAA AfriCenter

ICGEB signs an MoU with ISAAA AfriCenter

ICGEB yesterday signed an MoU with ISAAA AfriCenter establishing a framework for cooperation & collaboration, enhancing technical & regulatory capacity in hashtag #STI for sustainable development in Africa. ICGEB Director General Dr Lawrence Banks and ISAAA AfriCenter Director Margaret Karembu agreed on joint efforts to promote efforts to combat misinformation, and to uplift African women in biosciences in the hashtag #STI space. Read more

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