In a bid to address the dynamic landscape of synthetic biology and emerging biotechnologies, Lagos State launched the ninth African Conference on One Health and Biosecurity at the Radisson Blu Anchorage, Victoria Island. Professor Akin Abayomi, the Honourable Commissioner for Health, alongside partners from the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment (GET) Consortium, inaugurated the event, which has been a fixture for nine years since the 2014 and 2015 Ebola outbreaks.
Focusing on synthetic biology, a rapidly evolving field with transformative potential, the conference delves into its promising benefits for humanity while highlighting potential misuse and threats. Professor Abayomi stressed the dual nature of synthetic biology, emphasizing the necessity for heightened awareness and regulation to harness its potential responsibly.
Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, underlined the importance of informed decisions for policy-making, advocating collaborative efforts to safeguard citizens. Dr. Ayodotun Bobadoye, the Chief Operating Officer of GET Consortium, highlighted the urgency of addressing emerging biosecurity threats, citing recent occurrences of diseases like Lassa fever, COVID-19, and Ebola.
The conference seeks to explore the prospects of biotechnologies like synthetic biology and gene editing while navigating associated risks. It serves as a platform for stakeholders, policymakers, and experts to deliberate on strategic guidelines for Nigeria’s prudent engagement in these domains, aligning with Lagos State’s proactive measures to counter biosecurity threats.
As the conference unfolds, participants aim to shape a safer, more secure future amidst evolving biosecurity challenges.