In Madina village, outside Accra, Ghana, children tease each other about whose urine has a redder color. Apart from being strikingly thin, they look healthy. Yet they could be affected by Schistosoma haematobium, a parasitic disease common in Africa, where local prevalence rates can exceed 50%. Early diagnosis ensures inexpensive and effective treatment and prevents stunted growth and developmental disabilities in children and bladder cancer or other organ damage in adults (3).

The potential of biotechnology to contribute to the reduction of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Africa can only be realised with the presence of biosafety legislation. Recently, Kenya enacted the Biosafety Act 2008 after more than six years of stakeholder engagement with farmers, academicians, researchers, members of the community, funders, regulators, and private sector players.