Oct 07, 2022 | News

Capacity Building in Genome Editing Regulation in Ethiopia

Capacity Building in Genome Editing Regulation in Ethiopia

AUDA-NEPAD in partnership with the Environmental Protection Authority in Ethiopia organised a capacity building workshop on genome editing regulation from 27 to 30 September 2022 in Addis Ababa. This meeting follows a request by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for technical support from AUDA-NEPAD to help align Ethiopia’s nascent regulation of genome editing with global best practices and to address gaps pertaining to socio-economic considerations in decision-making for the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms into the environment.

The meeting brought together around 40 participants from an array of technology and regulatory institutions. The intervention focused on sharing global and regional experiences and on assessing the adequacy of the available regulatory tools for genome editing and for socio-economic considerations for deliberate release. Other key aspects addressed during the meeting include global regulatory experiences, domestic legal provisions pertaining to deliberate GMO release, science and technology of genome editing, and its agricultural applications.

The climax of the meeting was certainly the presentation of draft guidelines to regulate genome editing in Ethiopia. The document was adopted by participants, after making a few comments, and was recognized as adequate to guide the regulation of genome editing for agricultural applications in Ethiopia.

At the end of the meeting, H.E. Dr. Getahun Garedew, Director General of APA, appreciated the continuous support AUDA-NEPAD is providing to improve the functionality of the biosafety regulatory system. He accentuated that closing doors on a potentially useful technology do in no way serve Ethiopia’s interest. To this end, he called on biotech professionals from research institutes and universities to support the strengthening of science-based biosafety regulation for the safe adoption of biotechnology including products of genome editing.