To streamline commercialiazation, Uganda considering unique system for regulating GMOs

| | March 18, 2016
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Biotechnology is one of the fast growing sectors in the world and the pace of this places unique demands on management of the technology. The managers must be able to create and sustain entrepreneurship, collaboration and research within a high-risk environment. So, they cannot adapt other corporate practices but develop their own that is compatible with the special nature of the biotechnology industry. Therefore, from research to commercialisation, there is need for each country to have specific institutional models.

Against this backdrop, Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST) is engaging stakeholders on a model that applies to Uganda, which will enable products under research to be commercialised. At a recent meeting in Kampala of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (Ofab), Dr Julius Ecuru, the assistant executive secretary, UNCST, explained the different models used by various countries. These are, namely, committee-based, autonomous agency, distributed agency and techno-political models. Dr Ecuru noted that while choosing which model to adopt in Uganda, there are factors influencing choice of model to be considered.

These include looking at the community’s perception about GM/biotech products, which are either under research or already commercialised in other countries. Others are familiarity of the communities with existing GM/biotech products, available capacity of different existing agencies and private sector involvement. . . . It is the contention of UNCST that the model chosen aims at addressing biosafety issues and to ensuring that any risk is negligible. Potential benefits of GMOs should be maximised and mechanisms should be in place to protect environment and human health. . . .

Read full, original post: Uganda seeks ways to manage the regulation of biotechnology

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