The Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation, Prof. Alkassoum MAÏGA chaired the inauguration ceremony of the National Biosafety Laboratory on Monday, September 02, 2019 at the INERA-Kamboinsé premises in Ouagadougou. He had at his side two other Ministers namely Mr. Maurice Dieudonne BONANET, Minister of Urban Planning and Housing, Mr. Salif OUEDRAOGO, Minister of Agriculture and Hydro-Agricultural Development and Dr. Urbain Ibrahim COULIDIATI, Deputy Minister for Scientific Research and Innovation as well as high ranked officials including the CEO / DG of the National Scientific and Technology Research Center and the DG of the national Biosafety Agency. Also were present his Excellency Larlé Naba Tigré, MP and traditional chief, other honorable Members of the National Assembly and representatives of international and inter-African organizations, including the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). Dr Moussa Savadogo represented AUDA-NEPAD at this important ceremony.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Alkassoum MAÏGA, said that this jewel was fully financed by the State of Burkina Faso to the tune of 565,817,869 FCFA (~1,001,448 USD) through a loan agreement with the World Bank and equipped by the State with the support of WAEMU to the tune of 825,094,692 FCFA (~1,460,345 USD). He expressed his gratitude to the partners and paid tribute to the first authorities of the country for this important initiative. This laboratory ambitions to cover the sub-region and it is called to “provide quality services to countries who need it. To guarantee its independence, the laboratory is placed under the governance of the National Biosafety Agency. Given its technical platform, we are convinced that this is an innovative instrument that will contribute to accelerating the economic and social development of our country and also of the sub-region”, Minister Maiga continued.
Authorities during the cutting of the symbolic ribbon marking the inauguration of the laboratory.
According to specialists including Prof. Chantal Zoungrana, Director General of the National Biosafety Agency (ANB), the National Biosafety Laboratory can meet the needs of anyone who wants to evaluate and assess the safety of living organisms and their products thereof as well as any other organisms and products. The laboratory may also measure the level of pesticides and assess the presence and content of pesticides in food products.
Established in 2005 as the biosafety competent authority, the National Biosafety Agency is responsible for assessing potential risks associated with modern biotechnology applications. There is no doubt that with this new reference laboratory which complements ANB’s technical tools, the Agency has greatly strengthened its capacity to assess and monitor modern biotechnology applications in Burkina Faso.