AUDA-NEPAD and AATF Join Forces to Revolutionize African Agriculture Through Genome Editing

In a landmark move aimed at propelling agricultural advancement across Africa, the African Union Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) have solidified their collaboration through a memorandum of understanding (MoU). This strategic alliance is poised to reshape agricultural practices, tackle climate change, alleviate poverty, and bolster food security by harnessing state-of-the-art genome editing techniques to strengthen crops against diseases and adapt them to changing environmental conditions.

The partnership between AUDA-NEPAD and AATF is designed to accelerate the development and implementation of supportive policies, drive innovation in agricultural products, facilitate capacity-building initiatives for institutions, and establish science-driven regulatory frameworks. These combined efforts aim to unlock trade and investment opportunities across fifteen African Union member countries.

Nardos Bekele-Thomas, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, emphasized the pivotal role of science-based approaches in product development and regulation, stressing the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring efficient and conducive regulatory processes. She highlighted the significance of science-led industrialization in promoting inclusive growth and development within Africa, advocating for the utilization of the continent’s scientific expertise through collaboration with industry stakeholders.

Dr. Canisius Kanangire, Executive Director of AATF, underscored the importance of building public trust in agricultural research and biotechnology. He emphasized that raising awareness among citizens about the potential impact of genome editing could create demand for biotechnology-derived products, leading to increased productivity, improved household incomes, and strengthened food and nutrition security. Dr. Kanangire further emphasized that this partnership would foster trust and confidence between researchers and farmers, who are the primary beneficiaries of agricultural research outcomes.

The collaboration between AUDA-NEPAD and AATF represents a concerted effort to harness the transformative power of genome editing in agriculture, paving the way for sustainable development, economic empowerment, and enhanced resilience in African agriculture.


Article by Nyokabi Wanjiku