The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) was established by the Biosafety Act No. 2 of 2009 to exercise general supervision and control over the transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are products of Modern Biotechnology that involve the manipulation of the genetic material of organisms through genetic engineering procedures.
The objective and purpose for which the Authority was established is to regulate research and commercial activities involving GMOs with a view to ensuring safety of human and animal health and provision of an adequate level of protection of the environment. To achieve this objective, the Authority shall establish a transparent science-based and predictable process to guide decision making on applications for approval of research and commercial activities involving GMOs.
The National Biosafety Authority implements the Cartagena protocol on Biosafety in order to address safety for the environment and human health in relation to modern biotechnology. The National Biosafety Authority is under the Ministry of Agriculture and has the following duties & responsibilities:
- The National Biosafety Clearing House (BCH).
- Data sharing with the Biosafety Clearing House in Montreal Canada.
- Is the National Focal Point of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
- Collaborate with relevant Government Departments and Universities' faculties, to develop strategies in the fields of Biotechnology & Biochemistry.
- Identifying Research areas that could lead to formulation of policies to foster science education and popularization of science and evolving project proposals in line with modern Biotechnology.
- Liasing with the other government ministries, relevant government organizations, relevant stakeholders and relevant International Organizations.
- Co-ordinating Biotechnology & Biosafety issues in the country to all the relevant stakeholders.