South Africa share biosafety experience with Namibia

From back to front MsSikhonzile Sikhosana, (Department of Science and Technology), Mr Vincent Nowaseb, Mr Paulus Mungeyi (National Commission on Research, Science and Technology) and Mr Kgomotso Seikaneng (Department of Science and Technology), Mr Mehlolo Maphanga (SANBio), Ms Mwangala Nalisa (National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, Dr Ereck Chakauya (SANBio) and Mr Jerry Mokati (CSIR).

On 28 October 2014 the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) in conjunction with Department of Science and Technology (DST), Biosafety South Africa and African Centre for Gene Technologies (ACGT) hosted a joint session to share ideas on biosafety. As well as to learn more about South Africa’s management of Genetically Modified Organism’s (GMO) and guide the Namibian National Commission of Research, Science and Technology on GMO regulations.

Representatives from three centres of excellence, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Biosafety South Africa and ACGT, gave presentations on the following topics: “Emerging Bio-safety issues - in the areas of Biopharmaceuticals, Facilitating Evidence-based risk assessment of Biotechnologies - Experiences from Biosafety South Africa, and Assuring Agricultural and safety of genetically modified organisms.

“The study visit will be helpful hence Namibia is currently writing its biosafety strategy, and the information shared with South Africa will be used as a guide to create synergies in the management of GMO’s,” says Sikhonzile Sikhosana, Deputy Director: African Bilateral Corporation, Department of Science and Technology.

 During the study visit, the delegation also visited a number of institutions; Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, AfricaBio, Department of Environmental Affairs and Incotec laboratory in Pietermaritzburg.

By Mehlolo Maphanga