NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
African governments have been asked to reduce
research authorization process to help attract international
collaboration in conducting groundbreaking research in the
Taita Taveta University Acting Vice
Chancellor Professor Hamadi Boga said on Thursday that the delay
in acquiring necessary permits is to blame for the slow uptake
of science, technology and innovation in Africa.
"Government’s policy should be geared towards facilitating
science and scientific interaction and reducing the processes
that delay actual research from picking up," Professor Boga told
a workshop on uptake of practical synthetic biology.
He said that the continent urgently needs to re-strategize
and embrace science, technology and innovation for her economic
Professor Boga noted that studies has found out that research
authorization process delays the issuance of permits and also
reduces the number of research undertaken per year in most
"As biotechnology embraces synthetic biology, Africa has to
invest more in research infrastructure and international
collaboration so as to become relevant in the current fast
developing world," he added.
He pointed out that Kenya has the potential to be one of the
research nodes in Africa given its diverse ecological zones that
ranges from the Indian Ocean to the Lake Victoria shores through
Mount Kenya and other highlands.
The Director of Technical Services at the Kenya National
Biosafety Authority (NBA) Professor Dorington Ogoyi challenged
governments to upgrade their regulations while embracing new
He observed that it is unfortunate that in Africa, a lot of
focus has been on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) yet
several other new technologies are taking off in Europe and
"There is need to create awareness to facilitate the uptake
of promising emerging technologies that are aimed at improving
the control of pests and development of new environmentally
friendly crop varieties and animal breeds," he added.
"There is need to harmonize a globally responsive and forward
looking research regulatory regime," said Dr. Lalitha Sundaram
of the University of Cambridge.
She called for a periodic review of regulations to help
develop a globally binding standard that could easily be
accepted in times of developing new technologies like synthetic