BIOTECHNOLOGY IN KENYA
In 2013, Government of Kenya through Vision 2030 Medium Term Plan II made a commitment to making biosciences and biotechnology a priority focus for intensified vibrant cluster of innovations in response needs and improved quality of Kenya citizens. But as the government invests in bioscience sector and infrastructure to support the national and global landscape by advancing bold initiatives, a majority of women population and youth under 35 years of age estimated at 51 percent and 61 percent, respectively will be excluded from both economic and social benefits.
With increasing applications and products leading to improved food security, new medical treatments, new sources of energy, safe environment and new industrial products made out of biomaterials. Of particular interest in this project of the life sciences inclusive of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Bioinformatics, Microbiology, Biomedical Technology, Bioengineering, Biology is Biotechnology with observed need to adequate resources, human and infrastruture and capacity strengthening for R&D and implementation of regulatory frameworks that reduce trade barriers among traditional trading partners. Public understanding, education and awareness is required on the use and products of biotechnology for informed decision making.
Technology change, like all change pose risks and fears, anxieties about potential consequences which could be a cause of exclusion rather than a tool for development. The needs of poor populations could remain neglected whereas emerging risks managed well, the technologies can spur progress towards accelerated attainment of middle-income industrialized nation aspired in the Vision 2030.
It is a fact that creative awareness partnerships in providing access to documents and procedural with significant information to a wide range of stakeholders visiting the site to connect, share best practices and contribute knowledge is part of linking media, public and policy makers amongst others to information that affect them for informed decision making.
Local scientists and scientific institutions must take practical steps to improve their communications skills to raise public awareness and stimulate dialogue on biosciences and related advances in biotechnology to open up new opportunities to improved food security, new medical treatments and new sources of energy, safe environment and new industrial products made out of biomaterials. Scientists need to engage in strategies with the public and policy makers on biotechnology issues of concern so that our people are informed and we allay the fears that come with development of new technologies.