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City partners with Bio Africa Convention

​The Municipality, through the Economic Development and Planning Cluster, once again partnered with the Bio Africa Convention which was hosted virtually this year. A memorandum of understanding was signed with the City and Bio Africa in 2018 as a three-year support agreement.

This strategic partnership is aimed at developing the City’s Bio-Economy Strategy and small-scale farmer demonstration trials in line with Plan 2 of the Integrated Development Plan which is a “Diverse Economy and Employment Creation”.

Bio Africa is an organisation that plays a co-ordination role nationally and has the South African rights to the globally linked BioTech conventions. For the next three years, eThekwini will be the South African hub for the BioTech industry and its key activities. 

The convention serves as a platform for the African biotech community to interact with the international community that seeks to enrich the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development in this area.

The partnership provides an opportunity for foreign direct investment into the Life Sciences Sector as identified in the Durban Investment Promotion Strategy, agribusiness department research and development to enable improved standards for eThekwini’s emerging farmers and entrepreneurial support as well as local small, medium and micro enterprises linkages into the wider biotech ecosystems.

This year’s convention was themed “Discover. Develop. Disseminate.” The agenda focused on health biotech, Covid-19, agribiotech, finance and investment, Zoonotics, indigenous knowledge systems and natural products, medicinal cannabis, environmental biotech, food safety and security as well as women’s health.

The three-day insightful programme allowed industry experts and thought leaders to share their experiences, wealth of knowledge and discuss critical issues facing the industry today. The programme included panel discussions, virtual exhibitions and company presentations reimagined through a new and convenient digital platform to showcase bio-innovations from the broader biotech community of Africa, creating an enabling environment for commercialisation of local innovations.

It also offered dialogue and discussion with stakeholders in the global biotechnology environment. Among this was a women-only panel featuring renowned and accomplished academics.

Priah.dass@durban.gov.za

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