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AATF Broadened My Horizon To Become Leading Biosafety Expert – Ebegba

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AATF Rufus
L-R: The executive director, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Dr. Canisius Kanangire, presenting the recently launched AATF strategy to the former director-general, National Biosafety Management Agency, Dr. Rufus Ebegba when he paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja.

The former director-general of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba has attributed his position as Nigeria’s chief biosafety regulator to the opportunities provided by AATF.

During an interaction with the AATF leadership in Abuja, Ebegba, who recently stepped down from his pioneering role as the director-general of NBMA after eight years of exemplary service, shared his gratitude. He expressed that AATF played a crucial role in his career development by facilitating his participation in a three-month course in Australia when he was a young biosafety officer in the Federal Ministry of Environment. This experience opened his eyes to the vast possibilities offered by biotechnology while emphasising the need for strict monitoring to ensure the safety of humans and the environment.

Ebegba highlighted the importance of prioritising capacity development in Africa to effectively regulate modern biotechnology and secure a food and nutrition-adequate continent. He stressed the significance of proper education, continuous training, and a conducive learning environment in achieving this goal. With these elements in place, Africa can establish robust biosafety regulations that guarantee the safety of humans, animals, and the environment.

The executive director of AATF, Dr. Canisius Kanangire expressed deep gratitude on behalf of the AATF board and management for Dr. Ebegba’s exceptional leadership in biosafety matters in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. He acknowledged Ebegba’s instrumental role in building a monumental biosafety system for Nigeria, which now serves as a benchmark for other African countries. Under Ebegba’s guidance, NBMA made significant strides in regulating the safe handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria. His passion and expertise were crucial in ensuring the success of biosafety regulations, protecting the environment, biodiversity, and human health.

Kanangire commended Ebegba for being a visionary in his field and continuously striving to improve biosafety regulations and standards in Nigeria. He highlighted Ebegba’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s natural resources and promoting sustainable development, which has been an inspiration to many. Kanangire described him as a rare individual who combines expertise, dedication and compassion, making him an outstanding leader, mentor and role model for those fortunate enough to work with him.

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