On November 24 2016, the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) organized a one day workshop to sensitize government officials and other stakeholders on key provisions of the Biosafety Act and the role of the National Biosafety Agency. NBA has been in existence since 2013 and the sensitization meeting for government officials was the first of its kind. The workshop was also intended to shed a little light on the subject of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) –a subject which has been greatly misunderstood in Zambia due to various divergent views held by different interest groups and the general public in Zambia.
This blog is intended to provide a plafform on which discussions initiated in the workshop may be continued. It is realized that a one day workshop could not do justice to a subject that appear to be greatly misunderstood by the majority of Zambians.
Workshop Organizers and Presenters
The workshop was organized by the National Biosafety Agency (NBA). NBA is a government agency which has been in existence for three years. It was established under the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2007. It has a Board, a Secretariat and a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). Among the workshop organizers present were the Board Chairperson, Dr. Zambezi, the NBA Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Doris Musonda and her members, and two Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) member, Dr. Evans Kaimoyo and Dr. Patrick Chikoti. Workshop Presenters Six presentations were made. The first presenter was Mr. Christopher Simuntala. Mr. Simuntala holds an Msc. Degree and is a member of staff of NBA. He is the SBO-Standards and Technical Liaison Officer. He presented on the Objectives and Overview and Mandate of NBA. The second presenter was Ms. Doris Musonda. Ms. Musonda is the Registrar/CEO for NBA. She has a Msc. Degree. She presented an Overview, and Status of Biosafety Legal Framework in Zambia. The third presenter was Dr. Evans Kaimoyo who presented on Overview of Biotechnology and GMOs In Zambia. The fourth presenter was Dr. Patrick Chikoti. He presented on Global Trends in Biotechnology. Dr. Getachew Belay presented on Safety Considerations for GMOs and the final presenter, Mr. Samuel E. Timpo presented on Non-safety Considerations for GMOs.