By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor
African Union Development Agency – NEPAD, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, the Centre National des Études Stratégiques et de Sécurité (CNESS) and the Parliament, on September 30, 2019, held a technical seminar to discuss the provisions of the country’s biosafety bill in Niamey.
The Programme Officer of the African Biosafety Network of Expertise, ABNE, Mr Jean Kebere told Newsdiaryonline that the workshop followed previous meetings organized by CNESS and the Ministry of Environment with the support of AUDA-NEPAD to sensitize stakeholders on biosafety issues.
Newsdiaryonline reports that 50 participants attended the seminar, including members of the Parliament Select Committee for Rural Development and Environment.
In his opening remarks at the Opening ceremony, the Chair, Hon. Iro Sani, First Vice President of the National Assembly, said the meeting was important, as it would “open discussions on the biosafety principles and its relevance for a country like Niger.”
“The Parliament will pay special attention to the outcomes of the meeting, hoping that they will serve as a basis for constructive discussions on the biosafety bill during the parliamentary session that is coming soon,” he said.
The Head of AUDA-NEPAD West Africa Regional Office, Dr Ibrahim A. Mataki, who was represented by the Principal Programme Officer, Dr Moussa Savadogo, recalled that Niger is party to the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety and congratulated the country for its active participation in the international negotiations that led to the adoption of the protocol and the subsequent meetings.
He further stated that AUDA-NEPAD appreciated the efforts made thus far by Niger Ministry of Environment and the Government to present a draft biosafety bill that is modern and well balanced to the Parliament.”
He stressed that the adoption of the biosafety bill had been long awaited and needed to allow the country comply with its obligations vis-a-vis the international agreement on Biosafety.