Training in biosafety communication for the Mozambican regulators

NEPAD Agency African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) in partnership with GIIBs under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional Technicians (MCTESTP) organized a training workshop in Biosafety communication, and WEMA application technical backstopping for GIIBs.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Prof Dr Eng Leda Florinda Hugo, Vice Minister of of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional Technicians. 36 people attended the workshop including regulators, communicators and scientists.

Vice Minister Prof Eng Leda Florinda Hugo delivering the opening speech

This capacity building initiative had two key components: Biosafety communication training workshop for the regulatory body and stakeholders, and a separate technical backstopping on the issue of dossier review administrative documentation procedures and technical meeting with the Mozambican regulatory body (GIIBs) on the major areas of establishment of best practice and functionality of the regulatory institution in Mozambique.

Group picture of part of participants

The two dimensions of the training essentially helped enhance the general knowledge about genetic engineering and adoption trends of genetically modified crops/food and helped identify the main gaps in the Mozambican legislation. It also allowed improving the communication skills of the MCTESTP-GIIBS team and increasing their knowledge about international organisations dealing with biosafety and biotechnology.
The next steps in NEPAD Agency ABNE support to the Mozambican biosafety regulatory framework will include technical assistance for the revision of the biosafety regulation, and for drafting an ACT for biosafety which will function as umbrella for all the biosafety regulation to be developed. Other areas of capacity building will be among others communication strategy development, and implementing a fully operational national biosafety authority.