Implementing the Cartagena Protocol in West and Central Africa: Challenges and opportunities
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Njamnshi, A.B. and Njakoi, H. 2006. Implementing the Cartagena Protocol in West and Central Africa: Challenges and opportunities. In: Rege, J.E.O.; Nyamu, A.M.; Sendalo, D. (eds.). 2006. The role of biotechnology in animal agriculture to address poverty in Africa: Opportunities and challenges. Proceedings of the 4th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture and the 31st annual meeting of Tanzania Society for Animal Production, Arusha, Tanzania, 20–24 September 2005. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: TSAP and Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
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Although modern biotechnology holds great potential for agriculture, especially in developing countries, if it is not well regulated and managed, it can be of great disservice to the very people it is intended to serve. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is one of the international instruments that regulate modern biotechnology but some West and Central African countries face many challenges in its implementation. These challenges include, among other things, the lack of biosafety laws, the absence of access and benefit sharing regulations, the absence of clear biotechnology policies, poor government commitment to funding biotechnology research, poor or lack of laboratory equipment, poor public perception of biotechnology and poor access to information and communication technology. This paper discusses how these challenges hinder the proper implementation of the Protocol and proposes a way forward by examining the opportunities that are available for effective implementation of the Protocol in the sub-region.
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