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REGULATION: ECOWAS Ministerial Conference on Biotechnology opens inAccra



                                 PART I
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Ghana hosts ECOWAS biotech meeting
SOURCE: MyJoyOnline, Ghana
AUTHOR: Business Week, Ghana
URL:    http://www.myjoyonline.com/archives/business/200703/2427.asp
DATE:   12.03.2007
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Ghana hosts ECOWAS biotech meeting

A West Africa Ministerial meeting on biotechnology takes place in Accra,
Ghana from March 27 - 30, 2007.

The ministers from the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) are expected to discuss and adopt the sub-region's action plan
on biotechnology developed by the ECOWAS Commission two years ago in
Bamako, Mali.

Those expected at the third meeting are agricultural ministers and
experts in the biotechnology sector. They would assist the media
understand issues of biotechnology and bio-safety to enhance their
reports in that field.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is
supporting it. The Journalists Association of West Africa (RECOAB) and
the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) are among groups
organising the meeting.

Ghana has developed a comprehensive bio-safety bill, which is expected
to regulate biotechnology and bio-safety matters and other related issues.

However, the bill is currently before Cabinet and awaiting approval.
Stakeholders in the food-safety industry have expressed worry over the delay.

When passed, the bill is to ensure an adequate level of production in
the field, handling and use of living, modified organisms resulting from
modern biotechnology.


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                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  ECOWAS Ministerial Conference on Biotechnology opens in Accra
SOURCE: Web page of the Government of Ghana
AUTHOR: Ghana News Agency
URL:    http://www.ghana.gov.gh/studying/article.php?id=0000019372
DATE:   27.03.2007
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ECOWAS Ministerial Conference On Biotechnology opens in Accra

The third ECOWAS Ministerial Conference on Biotechnology opens in Accra
today to deliberate on issues pertaining to biotechnology in the sub-region.

The four-day conference, to be attended by about 200 agricultural and
environmental ministers, biotechnology experts, international
agricultural scientists, farmer groups and civil society would be under
the theme: "Adoption of 2006-2010 Action Plan for Meeting of the
Challenges of Biotechnology and Bio safety."

A statement signed by Mr Edward B. Karkari, Chief Technical Adviser for
the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment,
said the Ministerial session, which takes place on the last day of the
conference will examine and adopt the 2006-2010 Action Plan for the
development of biotechnology and bio safety within the ECOWAS region.
The first three days would have the experts discussing critical issues
pertaining to the theme.

It said the Action Plan was focused on measures deemed as necessary by
the Ministers for the development of a regional approach to biosafety,
biotechnology application and a biotechnology information, communication
strategy and policy.

The Plan of Action was prepared by the ECOWAS Commission in line with
the decision taken by the ministers at their second meeting held in
Bamako, Mali in June 2005.

ECOWAS Ministers at various meetings had resolved to develop the
capacity for the safe use of modern biotechnology in agriculture as sub-
Saharan Africa continues to face drastic food shortages, it said.

It attributed the problem to pests, diseases, declining soil fertility
and drought, input and market constraints, poor policy development for
agriculture and low research support. The resulting food security
problems are associated with the decline in socio-economic well-being.

The first ministerial conference on biotechnology was held in June 2004
in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


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