As AUDA-NEPAD ABNE embarks on the third phase of its programme starting from June 2020, new Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) members have been appointed to replace the former committee whose term came to an end in December 2019.
The new TAC members convened for their first meeting from 4 – 5 June 2020. Since face to face was not possible because of restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic management measures, the meeting was conducted using a virtual platform.
TAC members comprise eminent experts selected from AU Commission, AUDA-NEPAD, partner institutions in Africa and outside, private sector and international organizations.
The objectives of the meeting were to install the new TAC members and adopt the TAC guidelines manual, to review and adopt the technical progress report on implementation of the programme, and to update and adopt the annual workplan in line with the strategic objectives of the programme.
The meeting started with opening remarks by the representatives of partner institutions and AUDA-NEPAD.
They welcomed participants and commended ABNE for the achievements and progress made in the past decade in supporting AU member states building biosafety regulatory systems to safely harness modern biotechnology for agricultural transformation and socio-economic development. For the phase III of the programme, ABNE team was encouraged to ensure focus in order to make a difference with respect to safe access to technology by smallholder farmers for sustainable livelihood and socio-economic development.
During the meeting, TAC members were taken through AUDA-NEPAD ABNE mandate, vision and mission, the organizational structure, and the service delivery approach. ABNE workplan for the first year of this new phase (June 2020 – May 2021) was also presented to TAC. The presentations were followed by exchanges and discussions with ABNE staff and then between TAC members exclusively.
This resulted in a series of recommendations expressed by TAC to improve ABNE workplan and refine the implementation strategy on the ground.
Following the transformation of the NEPAD Agency into the African Union Development Agency- NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD), the ABNE project is now a programme serving as a Centre of Excellence under the Directorate for Knowledge Management and Programme Evaluation.
The year 2019 marked the end of the second phase of the ABNE project’s phase II. To sustain the program’s activities, a proposal was prepared and submitted for financial support. This was approved for the next five years (2020-2024).