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Kenya gets national biotechnology policy

Kenya 2006

News article

The government of Kenya has adopted a comprehensive national policy to guide the research, development and trade in biotechnology products, the National Biotechnology Development Policy 2006, which comes into effect immediately. According to Kenyan laws, a Policy, unlike a Bill, does not have to go through parliamentary debate. The policy has been the result of several years of debate involving all major biotechnology stakeholders and relevant government departments.

"This policy will provide those developing and applying the technology a clear framework in which to operate"

Noah Wekesa, Kenyan Minister for Science and Technology, said the policy is one of the measures the government is putting in place to chart its vision on biotechnology development and application in the country. This policy will provide those developing and applying the technology a clear framework in which to operate in order to address fears on their safety, said Wekesa. She added that the government is determined to explore the use of biotechnology for the benefit of Kenyans, and to ensure that the country becomes a key participant in the international biotechnology enterprise within a decade.

The approval and adoption of the policy now clears the way for fast-tracking the enactment of biosafety and biotechnology laws to enable the country to be compliant with international instruments governing trade in biotechnology products.

For more information contact Kenya National Biosafety Office at telefax 318249. Visit their website at http://www.biosafetykenya.co.ke.