Public Awareness

Public Awareness, Communication and Participation

In Africa, awareness and knowledge about biotechnology is still low among the general populace. Unfortunately, majority of the knowledge and attitudes about biotechnology are informed by negative propaganda. To fully recognise and reap the fruits of this technology, Africans need to understand its benefits and potential risks, if any.

ABSF’s public awareness, communication and participation program aims to make a positive impact on biotechnology awareness within Africa by providing reliable sources of information on the biotechnology discourse. We understand that dissemination of information on its own is not enough. In that respect, we believe that dialogue is the basis of creating and subsequently generating an enabling environment for biotechnology. In order to achieve this, we have re-modelled our communications program to focus more on an interactive, consultative and deliberative approach, stepping away from the top-down linear method of communication to a bottom-up approach. We believe that information must be useful to its intended audience, that it must be accessible, understandable and applicable.

We strive to initiate and maintain dialogue with our stakeholders in an attempt to get their feedback and inputs on ongoing policy deliberations and biotechnology related research, as well as on other emerging issues pertaining to biotechnology in Africa. Guided by a comprehensive communication strategy that looks into the needs and lifestyles of our broad stakeholder base and target audiences, ABSF uses a multi-pronged approach to meet the needs of all our stakeholders. Some of the approaches used include:

  • Workshops
  • Biotechnology Information materials
  • Website and use of social media
  • Quarterly newsletter
  • Demonstration sites and seeing is believing tours
  • Media trainings, Farmer and Extension workers trainings
  • Public debates
  • Science Cafes and Open Forums such as OFAB