Governing Biotechnology in Africa

Governing Biotechnology in Africa

Biotechnology and its governance remain controversial in Africa. Some actors argue it will lead to economic development and African independence. For others it is a neo-colonial and risky technology that is less effective than traditional alternatives. GM and gene drive mosquitoes are a recent development that may be able to eradicate malaria in Africa, with Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda expected to host the world’s first releases. Yet some African nations have called for a moratorium on gene drive technology through the Convention on Biological Diversity and in other countries, civil society groups vehemently oppose the development of enabling legislation.

This theme aims to mobilise social science and humanities scholars in response to these recent developments and invites proposals broadly interested in governance of biotechnology. Possible areas of interest might include the governance of GM crops and/or GM and gene drive insects, the role of the media, stakeholder and citizen engagement, community consent to trials, the distribution of risks and benefits, the role of US and European funders and companies, the relationship between science and society, and risk governance.

  1. Governing biotechnology for Global health;
  2. Governing biotechnology for agriculture;
  3. Open call for papers in this research field.

Organisers: Sarah Hartley (; Charles Rwabukwali ( and Katie Ledingham (

Image credit: Photo by Егор Камелев on Unsplash