In a drive to harness Science and Technology, African leaders adopted a Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA). One of the flagship programs of the CPA is the African Biosciences Initiative (ABI) which focuses on research and development (R&D) in the areas of biotechnology, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge systems and technology.
Four biosciences regional networks have so far been established under ABI on the basis of geographical delineations: the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) for Southern African countries; Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa Network (BecANet) for Eastern and Central African countries; West Africa Biosciences Network (WABNet) for West African countries and North Africa Biosciences Network (NABNet) for North African countries. These networks comprise institutions and laboratories that have agreed to share their infrastructures and human resources for R&D at regional levels.
In the NEPAD flagship program of biotechnology, regions through the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) were allocated core missions to fulfill based on the existing strengths, expertise and experience it already possesses in biotechnology R&D. Allocation of research programs depended on priorities identified by the regions in the NEPAD Office of Science and Technology consultations. The core missions are as follows:
- Central Africa: Forest Biotechnology
- Eastern Africa: Animal Biotechnology
- Northern Africa: Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
- Southern Africa: Health Biotechnology
- Western Africa: Crop Biotechnology