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The Danish Partnership Programme

Securing dangerous biological materials is an important element in addressing harmful biological incidents – particularly in fragile areas with significant prevalence of dangerous pathogens.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540) state that countries are obliged to secure dangerous biological materials and encourage countries that are able and willing to assist countries that may require assistance to meet their obligations.

Social unrest, violent extremist groups, prevalence of dangerous biological materials and limited biosecurity measures characterise a number of countries in East Africa, making them vulnerable to biological incidents. Potentially, this could severely affect peace and stability at national, regional and international levels.

Building on Danish biosecurity expertise, the Danish Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness, working with Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health is implementing a programme to contribute to the establishment of biosecurity and biopreparedness systems in selected countries in East Africa – the so-called Danish Biosecurity Partnership Programme.

The purpose of the Programme is to build legal frameworks and capacities to mitigate biological risks, as well as awareness raising of university students and researchers in life sciences. It contributes to public health and responsible biological technology development, and, longer term, trade, investment and social-economic development in partner countries.

Focusing on Kenya, the Programme has so far delivered the following results:

  • Publication of the book  “An efficient and practical approach to Biosecurity”– an account of how partner countries can build biosecurity systems

  • Development of partnership with relevant Kenyan authorities

  • Support to the development of national legislation on biosecurity as a pivotal step towards establishing a national biosecurity agency, including establishment of whole-of-government working group and facilitating workshops, seminars, meetings and visits

  • Support to the development of a work plan for the legislative process, including hearings and preparations for key authorities and decision-makers

  • Devised a report on the biosecurity situation in approximately 100 Kenyan facilities and labs. The report accounts for the prevalence of dangerous biological materials and the need to build biosecurity capacities. 

  •  Published an article based on the survey in the international journal Health Security

  • Training of key personnel

The Programme is funded by the Danish Peace and Stabilisation Fund and supports relevant national and international initiatives, including the G7 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, The Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention, UN Security Council.