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Programme Vision: An inclusive, pro poor and thriving bio-economy for economic, social, and environmental sustainability in Africa

Programme Mission: To provide policy choices that support the generation, uptake and harnessing of biosciences, bio resources, and biotechnologies for sustainable and diversified livelihoods, socio-economic development, and biodiversity conservation in Africa

Programme Goal: To support the development of enabling policies, organizations and institutions for harnessing applications of biosciences, bio resources and biotechnologies for agriculture and food security, energy access and security, water quality and security, biodiversity and natural resource management in Africa.

This programme area prioritizes bio resources, biosciences, biotechnology, and bio-innovation as essential pathways to achieving a knowledge based and green economy, thereby sustainable development. ACTS seeks to accelerate the development of bio-based products and services, technologies, institutions, and policies. Additionally, it will train bio-entrepreneurs, with a view to enhancing the applications of bio-innovations to address agricultural productivity, food and nutrition security; access to clean and renewable energy; sustainable water management, adaptation to climate change and sustainable use of natural resources.

ACTS considers bio economy as a strategy for Africa to ‘catch-up’ with most advancing countries whose economies have flourished due to advances in biosciences research, innovation, and development. Biotechnology offers technological solutions to many of the economic, social, and environmental sustainability challenges facing Africa and much of the world. Applications of such can increase the supply and environmental sustainability of food; improve water quality; provide renewable energy; improve the health of humans and livestock; enhance manufacturing, and conserve the environment and biodiversity.

As biotechnology can also be potentially and radically disruptive, economically, socially and environmentally, Africa needs to develop capabilities and competencies either to convert the potentially disruptive capabilities of biotechnologies to its advantage or to develop appropriate policies and regulations to protect the continent from potentially disruptive impacts of this technology. This is the role of ACTS in enabling countries to develop policies that tap into these opportunities and mitigate the disruption caused by bio-innovations. This will require evidence based and science led development policy making, including efforts to boost research, policy analysis and  capacity strengthening in agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnologies; reducing barriers to biotechnological innovations; turning the potentially disruptive power of biotechnology to Africa’s economic advantage; promoting the integration of biotechnology research across commercial applications; and facilitating dialogue and public education  among governments, industry, civil society and national populations.