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11th Pan-African Workshop on Acess and Benefit-sharing

1-5 October 2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Hosted by the African Union Commission - Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology.

Since the coming into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization (ABS) in 2014, African countries have intensified activities to adapt or develop their domestic ABS systems. At the regional level, guidance is provided by the 2015 African Union Guidelines for a Coordinated Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, and the African Group continues to play an important role in the negotiations of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol. In this international context, negotiations around certain issues under the Nagoya Protocol are still ongoing, e.g. on the need for and modalities of a Global Multilateral Benefit-Sharing Mechanism. Furthermore, emerging issues, such as how the generation, publication and utilization of Digital Sequence Information can be dealt with from an ABS perspective, raise questions about the effectiveness of ABS systems concentrating only on access to and utilization of the biological material as such. Against this background, the 11th Pan-African ABS Workshop focuses on reviewing the relevant outcomes of recent meetings of the Nagoya Protocol and the CBD and supporting African countries for an effective coordination for and participation at COP MOP 3 of the Nagoya Protocol and related events in November 2018 in Egypt.

Approach and Objectives

This 11th Pan-African ABS workshop will provide a forum for National ABS Focal Points and other experts who are expected to be present at COP MOP 3. The workshop will discuss substantial topics such as Digital Sequence Information and the Global Multilateral Benefit Sharing Mechanism as well as mechanisms for better information exchange and coordination through the ABS Clearing-House and the internet-based communication platform for the African Group of Negotiators.

Specifically, the main objectives of this workshop are:

  • Participants are updated on international and regional processes in ABS and related fields, including on the outcomes of the AHTEG on Digital Sequence Information, SBSTTA 22 and SBI 2;
  • Participants intensify the continental exchange and strengthen their networks;
  • Participants use the workshop to further develop common African positions in coordination with the African Union Commission.


In total, 60 participants from 43 countries included National ABS Focal Points or other biodiversity related Focal Points who will participate in the negotiations of COP MOP 3 of the Nagoya Protocol in Egypt in November 2018 and selected experts who are familiar with the international ABS-related discussions in the CBD and its various forums. For further details, a list of participants is attached in the annex. Simultaneous interpretation in French and English was provided throughout the plenary sessions of the workshop.