National Seminar on the Implementation of the Biosafety Regulation on the Management of Genetically Modified Organisms in Mozambique

The Ministry of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional Technicians (MCTESTP), organized National workshops on the Implementation of the Biosafety Regulation on the Management of Genetically Modified Organisms in Mozambique, from 11 – 12 July, 2018, in Maputo and the Minister invited NEPAD Agency African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) to bring in continental perspectives from a neutral point of view into the discussion with all the stakeholders.
The objective of these two-in-one workshop was to engage all the stakeholder in a discussion on the issue of the Biosafety Decree and its implication for the Mozambican and a forum to officially inaugurate GIIB’s with all the ministries involved with the mandate as stipulated by the Decree. It was also a platform for reflection on the implementation of the Biosafety Regulation on the Management of Genetically Modified Organisms.

Group picture of participants: H.E. Prof. Doutor Eng. Jorge Olivio Penicela Nhambiu, Minister of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional Technicians (Standing fourth from the left-hand side)

The meeting was opened by H.E. Prof. Doutor Eng. Jorge Olivio Penicela Nhambiu, Minister of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional Technicians. In his opening remarks, Prof. Nhambiu expressed his “sincere thanks to NEPAD Agency ABNE for the efforts to support the establishment of functional national biosafety system in Mozambique through technical support.” He further stated that “Biotechnology is an area of great potential for solving the various challenges of modern society and rural communities, especially in the area of Agriculture. Therefore, recognizing the potential that this component has, together with the need to regulate its use, after formalizing different inherent legislation, the Biosafety Regulation on the Management of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) was approved.”

From left to right are Dr Roda Nuvunga Luis (GIIBs Coordinator, MCTESTP), H.E. Prof. Doutor Eng. Jorge Olivio Penicela Nhambiu (Minister, MCTESTP) and Dr Silas Obukosia (Representing the Director ABNE), during a pre-meeting ahead of the workshop.

The development and use of GMOs in the country are regulated by Decree No. 6/2007 of 25 April 2007 revised by Decree 71/2014 of 28 November 2014. This Decree peculiarly details the combined role of different ministries in the nomination of the Inter-Institutional Biosafety Group (GIIBS) membership, which is the national regulatory body to advise the competent authority.

It was in this context that the Ministry of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional Technicians (MCTESTP) requested a technical support from NEPAD Agency ABNE, under the MoU signed with the competent authority for capacity building of GIIBS in the implementation of its activities.

During these meeting, participants were able to identify gaps in the Decree, and suggestions of correct languages were proposed for adoption. As an outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional Technicians has taken clear measures for a full operationalization of GIIBS in collaboration with the other ministries involved.
NEPAD Agency ABNE, in line with its mandate to contribute to the implementation of functional biosafety regulatory systems in the continent, will continue to provide the necessary technical support to Mozambique for the country to safely harness science, technology and innovation opportunities for its development.