International Services for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications Association (ISAAA) – Dr. Maragaret Karembu paid NACOSTI Director General a courtesy call on 17th July 2020. In the meeting was NACOSTI team led by Prof. Walter Oyawa – Director General, Dr. Roy Mugiira – Director of Scheduled Sciences, Dr. Steve Karimi- Director of Research Accreditation and Quality Assurance and Dr. Benson Mburu - Principal Analyst Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

Dr. Karembu ISAAA

From left Dr. Stephen Karimi- NACOSTI, Dr. Maragaret Karembu - ISAAA, Prof. Walter Oyawa - DG NACOSTI & Dr. Benson Mburu NACOSTI 

NACOSTI partnership with ISAAA is broad, with the key engagement being the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) Kenya Media award. ISAAA launched a call for Journalists who have been reporting on Agricultural Biotechnology on 8th July 2020 with NACOSTI taking an active role as part of the Judges panelist through Dr. Benson Mburu.

Other areas of partnerships include:

  • ISAAA team engagement to train Scientist under IDRC on Science Communication 
  • Dr. Karembu appointment as a Research Advisory Committee member by NACOSTI 
  • ISAAA support to NACOSTI for National Biotechnology Development Policy Review 
  • Collaboration in Biosafety Issues and Bio-aware program in the Country 
  • ISAAA Support for Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Country preparatory meetings and International Meetings attendance since 2010. 
  • Synthetic Biology engagement where Dr. Karembu is the chair of the National Committee coordinated at NACOSTI, including being part of the team that visited Imperial College London in June 2019 hosted by Professor Paul Freemont.

ISAAA has offices in Asia and USA at Cornel University. In Africa, there are two other offices: one for Arab Speaking Countries at Cairo, Egypt and for Frank Phone Speakers at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In Kenya it works through NODES located at Egerton University, Pwani University and South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU). ISAAA is mainly involved in: Knowledge Sharing, Technology Transfer, Capacity Building, Policy engagement, Partnership with Stakeholders, Communication Support to Projects and Communication research.

NACOSTI and ISAAA collaborate in Science Communication in the counties, STEM program and promotion of Women in science and engineering, is important. ISAAA together with NACOSTI have coordinated the formation of African Women in Bioscience where Dr. Edwardina, the Principal Analyst, Biological and Health Sciences NACOSTI, is a member as a branch of African Women in Science and Engineering.  NACOSTI looks forward to further collaborations with ISAAA in the following areas:

  1. STEM programs in Counties to promote Youth engagement in Agriculture 
  2. Promotion of Emerging Technology 
  3. Formation of research Consortia 
  4. Science Communication