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Revealing the footprint: Supranational organizations and transnational governance of biotechnology in southern Africa

Mugwagwa, J

Regional Science Policy and Practice   5 (1) 135-148

March 2013   (First published online January 2013)

This paper analyses the roles of three supranational organizations (SNOs), the African Union (AU), New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), in the development of cross-national policy, regulatory and administrative systems for managing modern biotechnology, also referred to as biosafety systems, in southern Africa. The desire for convergence of these systems is not an uncontested issue. Therefore in seeking to understand the feasibility of this policy agenda, this paper traces how the three SNOs are contributing towards coalescence of the many contending issues. One of the major arguments presented by the paper is that the policy footprint of the SNOs has varying intensity across the biosafety terrain of the region, leaving one wondering whether this is by design or by accident, and what impact this has on the countries that see the SNOs as rallying points for regional aspirations.