KENYA – The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) has appointed Kenya as the host of its first Regional Research Centre (RRC) in Africa dedicated to advanced research and training in vaccine development, molecular biology and biotechnology.

The ICGEB is a unique intergovernmental organization that operates that provides a scientific environment of top international standard for advanced research and education and for the development of biotechnology products for over 60 Member States.

The nonprofit research body partners with other multilateral organizations to disseminate information related to biosafety, bioethics and other issues across the globe while advocating for outreach and public engagement to promote scientific information and improve quality of life.

The first ICGEB Regional Research Centre in Africa will be based at Egerton University’s main campus in Njoro Sub-County, Kenya to strengthen research skills, knowledge and capacities of the scientific community while pursuing specific objectives for research, training and technology transfer to industry.

ICGEB is an intergovernmental and nonprofit research organization. Established on November 25, 1987 as a special project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido), it became fully autonomous in 1994 and now incorporates over 65 Member States.

The ICGEB- RRC will further support Egerton University’s involvement in research and academic work in the areas of disease biology, vaccine development, diagnostic and therapeutic along with promoting international collaborative efforts to develop technologies to improve human health globally.

The Regional Research Centre in Kenya comes at a time when biotechnology development plays a key role in enhancing food security, evolving more efficient and cleaner industrial manufacturing processes and reducing negative effects on the environment.

Kenya hosting the Regional Research Centre will facilitate collaborations with institutions from ICGEB’s member states in the African region in scientific research, create mentorship opportunities for smaller universities as well as promote development and job creation beyond the country’s borders.

The Centre will further strengthen research capability of its members through training and funding programmes and advisory services along with promote research themes associated with infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and industrial biotechnology.

The ICGEB Regional Research Centre in Kenya will also coordinate with the ICGEB China RRC in food safety, molecular plant breeding, molecular plant pathology and entomology, genetic biofortification, molecular diagnostic tools and bioprospecting for biopesticides and bioactive compounds.

In addition, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Board of Governors have elected the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation Director General Professor Walter Oyawa as ICGEB Governor for Kenya.

Professor Walter Oyawa stressed that biotechnology might simply be the solution to Kenya’s future and current agricultural problems like adverse climate and weather changes, feeding an ever-growing population and converting the huge bare chunks of land to be arable.

Moreover, hosting the first ICGEB Regional Research Centre in Africa is a landmark achievement by Kenya as a global powerhouse in science, technology and innovation as the Center will be collaborating with 46 state-of-the-art laboratories in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa.

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