Webinar: “Plant Biotechnology in sub-Saharan Africa – technology transfer and new policies”, 23 and 24 September 2020

Sub-Saharan Africa, where 60% of the population still live in rural areas, is the region in the world with the highest prevalence of undernourishment. To abolish hunger and feed a growing population without depleting natural resources, new innovations and tools are required.

The use of crop biotechnology, such as innovations in breeding, can contribute to increase crop yields, reduce production costs and post-harvest losses, and combat malnutrition by increasing crop nutritional status in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the limited technical capacities and the current policies and regulations for these technologies hamper the realization of their full potential in many of the countries in the region.

In this two-part webinar we will discuss the implications of plant biotechnology policies with a focus on selected East and West African countries (day 1) as well as potential use of plant biotechnology for cassava and potato crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa. It targets researchers and those interested.

If you want to join please sign up to join the webinar below. It will be live through Zoom Webinar: or come to the physical venue: Crafoord Hall, at SLU Alnarp, Sweden

All times CET

Wednesday 23 September: Implications of converging and/or diverging plant biotechnology policies in the EU/Sweden and selected sub-Saharan African countries

10:00 Welcome, project presentation “Plant Biotechnology in sub-Saharan Africa”. Project coordinator Erik Alexandersson, SLU, Sweden

10:15 “Plant biotechnology in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and the European Union: convergence or divergence of policies and regulatory practice?”. Isaac Ongu, SCIFODE, Uganda

10:45 Panel discussion with the possibility for the audience to ask questions. The challenges for gene editing and genetic engineering for R&D in SSA and the EU: policy influences, lessons from other countries, and other pertinent issues. Barbara Mugwanya (UBIC), Isaac Ongu (SCIFODE), and Marc Heijde (IPBO, VIB Ghent) and John Komen (Komen Bioscience Consultancy) who are members of the Advisory group. Moderator: Dennis Eriksson, SLU, Sweden

12:00 Close

Thursday 24 September: Plant biotechnology in SSA for cassava and potato crop improvement

9:00 Welcome and presentation of today´s program. Livia Stavolone, IITA, Nigeria

9:05 “Happy Tropics: Molecular Innovations, Technology Transfer, Education and Beyond”. Herve Vanderschuren, University of Liège, Belgium

10:00 “Profiling, tissue culture and gene editing of Nigerian cassava landraces”, Priscilla Olayide, IITA, Nigeria

10:30 “Bioengineered potato with late blight disease resistance in field trials in Sweden and East Africa”, Erik Andreasson, SLU, Sweden and Marc Ghislain, CIP, Kenya

10:50 Wrap-up

11:00 End

“Plant Biotechnology in sub-Saharan Africa – technology transfer and new policies” is a collaboration between SLU. CIP, IITA and UBIC funded by VR Swedish Resarch Links