The Role of Trust Building in the Development of Biosafety Regulations in Kenya

 

Justin Mabeya
Research Consultant
McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
New Hurlingham Plaza
Argwings Kodhek Road, 3rd Floor, Room D10
Nairobi, Kenya
justin.mabeya@mrcglobal.org

Peter A. Singer
Director
McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
MaRS Centre, South Tower
Suite 406, 101 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 Canada

Obidimma C. Ezezika
Program Leader, Ethics Pillar
McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
MaRS Centre, South Tower
Suite 406, 101 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 Canada

 
 

The potential of biotechnology to contribute to the reduction of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Africa can only be realised with the presence of biosafety legislation. Recently, Kenya enacted the Biosafety Act 2008 after more than six years of stakeholder engagement with farmers, academicians, researchers, members of the community, funders, regulators, and private sector players. In this article, we highlight the challenges and importance of trust among stakeholders in the development and implementation of biosafety legislation in Kenya . We show how open stewardship by government, time investment, consensus building and sustained stakeholder engagement could be key aspects in building trust among stakeholders in the development of national biosafety regulations. Through our analyses of the process of development of Kenya biosafety regulations, we provide a set of guidelines that could help other African countries develop and improve stakeholder trust in developing biosafety regulations.

 

Biosafety Act, biosafety regulations, building trust, consensus building, stakeholder engagement.

 

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