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Access to, Equity and Protection of Genetic Resources in Ghana: The Case of Tilapia (O. niloticus)

Ghana is a latecomer to ABS legislation although the principle of benefit sharing has long traditions in Ghanaian society, also in the aquaculture sector. Experiences from bioprospecting deals have often been negative, similar to many other cases in Africa. This underscores the need for ABS legislation and institutions also in Ghana. For aquaculture and tilapia, access issues have most relevance in a regional sense and hence it is important to retain open access to tilapia genetic material between the countries of the greater Volta region, probably more important than ensuring benefits from others’ use. Still, in the case of future interest in tilapia from multinational corporations, Ghana could benefit from a solid ABS framework, which includes aquatic genetic resources. The GIFT programme has already provided benefit sharing in terms of technology transfer – which may be equally or even more important than sharing and dissemination of breeding material or monetary payments.