AUDA-NEPAD’s Florence Nazare Champions Genome Editing Initiative at Stakeholder Validation Event in Ethiopia
Nazare emphasized the potential of genome editing in accelerating Africa’s development and stressed the importance of stakeholder engagement in ensuring the initiative’s success.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Mrs. Florence Nazare, the lead on the Genome Editing initiative at the African Union Development Agency (AUDA)-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), addressed stakeholders during the opening of the Stakeholder Validation of Genome Editing (GEd) Training Materials and Curriculum event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, writes Winston Mwale.
In her speech, Mrs. Nazare emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in refining the Genome Editing training modules to meet the unique needs of Africa.
"So we're really happy to get new ideas into the modules, and we just need that, I think, we are all academics, and we are glad and comfortable to take comments, and that our lead teams will also do the same, in terms of just being more open-minded and embracing because what we're trying to build here is a people, purpose, and context-relevant set of modules that speak to our own context. So we can't do that without having the voices of those that work in the different sectors across the innovation ecosystem to come in and give their input. So that input is so welcome," said Mrs. Nazare.
She urged all stakeholders to actively participate in the review process, stating, "So we're urging everyone just to go all out and give us a proper review and allow the modules to basically advance further towards final modules."
Mrs. Nazare also highlighted the challenge of streamlining the modules and ensuring coherence in communication.
"And just also going back to the objectives, why we developed the genome editing, communication, and advocacy modules covering the four areas, and I think whether or not we need all the four areas, that's also an issue that we need to discuss because I think it overlaps. So that's a challenge that we also put ourselves to see how to streamline, and how do we also harmonize to ensure that the definition that we have, especially taking a lead from the science group, basically feeds into the other modules for coherence and for common messaging because once we cross-posting, then we also have the same issues that we're trying to address," she said.
She emphasized the central role of the modules in guiding training at the national level and expressed the organization's commitment to a dynamic and responsive approach.
"These will be very central to guide the training that's going to happen in the countries, and we're looking forward to a process where the lead drafters, the drafting teams, are also leading in the delivery of those modules."
Mrs. Nazare concluded by stressing the universality of the modules, stating, "And I think one of the important points is that while we have eight member states leading the development, but these modules are for use by all the 55 member states of the African Union. We need the aid for the purposes of having a group where we can learn and get better, get insights before we expand to the rest of the continent. So the modules are really available for use not just by us but broadly by the other member states that are not here, but also in the other sectors that we might have forgotten that can come into play."
The event, held from November 15-17, 2023, continues to be a platform for robust discussions and collaboration among experts from various fields to refine Genome Editing training materials for the African context.