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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-04-13 20:44 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-04-13 20:44 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)

General Information
Biosafety systems in Eastern and Central Africa
Godliving Mtui
Author’s contact information
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
University of Dar es Salaam
P.O. Box 35179
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

E-mail: gmtui@udsm.ac.tz; gmtui@hotmail.com
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

This review examines the biosafety systems of selected countries in the Eastern and Central Africa. The biosafety systems are meant to safeguard human health, animal health and the environment against any possible risks posed by development and application of modern biotechnology. Though the focus is in the Eastern and Central African region, the study gives an overview of worldwide biosafety frameworks as guided by the Cartagena protocol on biosafety. The Eastern and Central African countries covered in this study are Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). An attempt is made to assess the current status on the countries' compliance to biosafety international conventions, institutional arrangements and regulatory regimes. A critical look is given to the existing biosafety frameworks, pinpointing their weaknesses and giving suggestions on what could be done to address the shortfalls. The study shows that Kenya is leading the group by having all the requirements in place, followed by Uganda. Tanzania has cleared the legal frameworks hurdles, but it is rather slow in processing applications of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for containment and confined trials. Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC are still in the process of formulating their biosafety laws. The challenges facing the operationalization of the biosafety systems are financial constraints, insufficient trained human resources, poor facilities, low awareness and insufficient political will by some governments. It is argued that while biosafety frameworks stand to safeguard safe application of modern biotechnology, they should not have too stringent regulations, lest they impede the development of modern biotechnology in the Eastern and Central African region.
Thematic areas
  • Biosafety policy and regulation
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
DOI: 10.5897/AJEST11.242; ISSN 1996-0786
Publisher and its location
Academic Journals
©2012 Academic Journals
14 page PDF file
African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Keywords and any other relevant information
Key words: Biosafety, Cartagena Protocol, genetically modified organisms, regulatory regimes, institutional framework, liability and redress.

Citation: African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology Vol. 6(2), pp. 80-93, February 2012