EAC to hold Bioeconomy  conference virtually in Nov.

EAC to hold Bioeconomy conference virtually in Nov.

THE second East African Community (EAC) Bio-economy Conference will be held virtually on 10th and 11th November, 2021 with a small group of in-person participants in Nairobi, Kenya.

The two-day conference is being co-hosted by BioInnovate Africa/International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), the Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub, and the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) – Africa Centre.

According to a statement issued by EAC Headquarters, the theme of the conference is “Building a Sustainable and Resilient African Bioeconomy.” The theme is cognisant of the global need to reduce carbon emissions, as well as build resilience against emerging and re-emerging diseases such as Covid-19, thus opening up new possibilities for biologically based research and innovation.

Africa, with its rich biological diversity, and a relatively large proportion of arable land, is well positioned to tap the opportunities, and build a competitive but sustainable bioeconomy.

The latter is seen as one of the ways of diversifying sources of growth through value addition to biological resources, and linking production to new markets.

Additionally, the period 2021 to 2030 is a decade for accelerating efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

In this regard, the conference participants will discuss how sustainable bio-economy initiatives in the continent, especially those developing healthy foods, safer and more efficacious medicines, clean energy and water, will position themselves to contribute more to the realisation of the SDGs 2030.

The statement said that the discussion will draw from examples of bio-based innovations that are creating new business prospects and changing lives in the continent.

The conference will also discuss regionalisation of bio-economy, with the idea that the greatest benefits of a sustainable bio economy are realised through regional collaboration.

Participants will discuss how regional economic blocs like the East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC), among others, can be the anchor for regional bio economy policies and strategies.

Key to this discussion will be opportunities for interAfrica cooperation in building sustainable and resilient bio economies.

The conference will create awareness about sustainable bio economy initiatives in the continent, and give participants a platform to build research, innovation and bio-entrepreneurship partnerships. Participants will also agree on concrete steps for cooperation across regions, especially on developing regional bio economy strategies.

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