US policy think-tank looks to ACGT for local perspective on GM crops

The ACGT received a visit in early November from a representative of the USA-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Africa Programme. The aim of the visit was to source expert views and information on the latest scientific developments in the field of GM crops.

The CSIS is currently conducting a major project on food security in Africa and looking at ways to better engage with African stakeholders. A key element of the project research involves relooking the debate over GMOs. To this end, Richard Downie – a CSIS Africa Programme research fellow, was in South Africa from 2 – 6 November to interview key individuals and organisations in the country to gauge the current status of the debate.

During his visit, Downie met with ACGT Director, Dr Jane Morris, to get an overview of the current status of and latest scientific developments in the South African GM field. The information contributed by the ACGT will be included in a draft report on which contributing organisations and individuals will be invited to comment.

According to Downie, the CSIS has undertaken this initiative in an attempt to afford African stakeholders an opportunity to have a voice in a discussion that has previously been dominated by those of Europeans and North Americans.

One of the world’s preeminent international policy institutions, the CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. CSIS conducts research and analysis and develops policy initiatives that look into the future and anticipate change. Its Africa Programme conducts centrist, activist, and forward looking research and analysis on major elements of U.S. policy toward Africa.