The National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe (NBA) is an autonomous research and development institution with a mandate to develop Zimbabwe through the application of both conventional and cutting-edge bio-technologies. Established through the National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe (NBA) Act of 2006 [Chap. 14: 31]; its role is to transform the country from a raw material-based into a knowledge–based economy through the judicious application of biotechnology in agriculture, medicine, energy, industry and the environment.
In order to keep the public kept aware of the benefits and risk associated with biotechnology and other new and emerging technologies, the NBA is mandated to actively create public understanding of biotechnology, biosecurity and biosafety in Zimbabwe. At tertiary level Biotechnology is offered as a module as a degree programme at honours, Msc and PhD level. This letter serves to seek authority to form a biotechnology club at your school. The main goal of this club will be to provide a learning opportunity for students to broaden their knowledge in biotechnology and biosafety. In additaion the club will present an apportunity for students to interact with other stundents who have a shared interest in the biotechnology careers.
There are several reasons why the establishment of a Biotechnology Club is important. The Club will allow students to cultivate their interest in this field of study in an informal environment without the pressure of being graded . It will introduce students to the possibility of future studies or employment in biotechnology. It also offers students the opportunity to serve their community and expand their innovative skills by conducting demonstrations, lab activities and community outreach events.
The clubs are expected to bring the following:
1. To create scientific awareness on modern biotechnology and educate the public on the benefits of biotechnology through students as they have more interaction with society.
2. Increase students base on Biotechnology and Biosafety issues
1. Improved biotechnology expertise in students.
2. Improved awareness for students and the general public so that they make informed decisions with regards to biotechnology and its products.
3. Establish and increase the number of quiz contests and debates among students from different schools.
4. Identify student biotech champions who will be linked to NEPAD/SADC/ SANBIO student ambassadorships.