This project was created in recognition of the fact that some
biosafety-related activities are not fully covered by the Cartagena
Protocol on Biosafety (see http://www.biodiv.org/biosafety/default.aspx
and need to be regulated additionally in national biosafety
systems. Prior to the launch of this project, the Organization of
African Unity (OAU) decided to develop a regional model law to
support its Member States in matters of biosafety. This model law
was finalized in May 2001.
The project is to provide the AU with the necessary capacity and
effective instruments to support its Member States in implementing
the Cartagena Protocol and using the African Model Law. The project
is being implemented jointly by the AU and German Technical
Cooperation (GTZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development.
The project activities started in July 2005 and the project
duration is three years.Regional level activities
Activity Set 1: AU strategies
Strategies of the AU to implement the provisions of the CPB and the
AMLSB are developed and will be applied at regional as well as
1) Select two experts and an administrative assistant to start the
AU Biosafety Unit.
2) Select the members of the technical steering committee.
3) Establish an AU Biosafety Unit and offer specific capacity
building measures to the staff.
4) Familiarize the experts with African national biosafety system
through field trips to South Africa and Kenya.
5) Enhance the skills of the experts through participation at the
course "Holistic Foundations for Assessment and Regulation of
Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms" at GenØk /
6) Inform the AU Member States about the project and its
preparatory workshop for African delegates in March 2006 before
7) Prepare and convene the workshop before MOP-3.
8) Create a biosafety web page on the AU web site.
9) Create an AU database on biosafety experts.
10) Translate the African Model Law on Safety in Biotechnology into
the four AU-languages.
11) Send the African Model Law and related documents to the
National Biosafety Focal Points to prepare an expert
12) Develop strategy for a sustainable capacity development on
biosafety that includes LMO identification.
13) Convene a meeting of biosafety experts of the AU Member States
to revise the strategy paper and the African Model Law.
14) Present the revised strategy paper and the African Model Law to
the ministerial level meeting.
15) Present the endorsed strategy paper and the African Model Law
to the Summit of Heads of State.
16) Translate and publish the approved strategy paper and African
17) Identify topics for guidelines and issues papers.
18) Prepare, translate and publish guidelines and issues
19) In collaboration with the National Biosafety Focal Points, take
public awareness measures involving parliamentarians and
Activity Set 2: Information network
A network for continuous information exchange between the AU
biosafety Unit and the National Focal Points is maintained.
1) Develop an appropriate approach of the AU to report on African
LMO activities and releases.
2) Publish quarterly project reports.
3) Keep alive the official contacts between the AU biosafety Unit
and the NFPs.
4) Convene five regional workshops to support Member States in
setting up and implementing national biosafety systems.
Activity Set 3: Proposal for a LMO identification network
Strategic options are presented to strengthen the existing
technical and laboratory capacities on regional, sub-regional and
national levels to identify LMOs and products thereof.
1) Appropriate project activities are to be developed based on the
strategy paper and needs and decisions by the AU Member States.