In recognition of NEPAD Agency African Biosafety Network of Expertise’s mandate to provide biosafety regulatory capacity building support to AU member states, the Government of Rwanda requested for technical support in developing a functional biosafety regulatory framework. To this end, a two-day meeting was held on May 31 – June 1, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Participants were drawn from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board, the Ministry of Health, the College of Science & Technology of the University of Rwanda, the Rwanda Development Board and the Ministry of Education.
The meeting discussed the current state of biotechnology and biosafety in Rwanda, how agricultural biotechnology is regulated worldwide and in Africa, and the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in ensuring a functional biosafety regulatory system.
With leadership from the REMA, a biosafety needs assessment was conducted subsequent to which a roadmap was developed detailing areas of technical cooperation with NEPAD Agency ABNE and outlining a system to ensure effective technical backstopping. Key among the identified priority areas of intervention was the need to review legal instruments including the draft biosafety policy, the biosafety law and regulations as well as the need to augment human resource capacity in biosafety.