Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Towards a Roadmap for EU-Africa Research, Innovation

Image credit: Nienke Buisman

15 May, 2014. Less than one month after the EU-Africa Summit 2014, the expert working group of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation was kicked off in Brussels on 30 April.

The group consists of 10 EU and African high level experts from the domain of agricultural research and innovation for development and is tasked with developing a detailed roadmap concretely defining the scope and outlining the different steps to be taken towards this new partnership.

As a first step, the experts have been asked to look into the major common challenges between the EU and Africa in the domain of food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture and how science, technology and innovation could support tackling the issues at stake. The impact of the partnership must be of mutual benefit, albeit with different dimensions. This is by no means an easy exercise and several meetings, either virtual or physical are foreseen to accompany the process between now and November.

The end result should be an operational roadmap that can be translated into actions to be funded by all the stakeholders concerned including the European Commission, the African Union Commission, the European and African countries or the private sector. These actions should give rise to a truly co-owned and jointly financed research and innovation partnership.

The conclusions of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation (November 2013) which includes the establishment of the expert working group were endorsed by the Heads of State and Government at the EU-Africa Summit 2014.

The ten experts were selected between January and March 2014, on the basis of a thorough set of selection criteria jointly established by the European Commission, African Union Commission and European and African countries that are all members of the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau (Congo Brazzaville, Namibia, Nigeria, Algeria, Burundi, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Lithuania, Greece, Italia, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Portugal).

The roadmap is foreseen to be ready by November 2014.

ROADMAP 2014-2017

page 6. Science, technology and innovation
31. we will develop a long-term, jointly funded and managed research and innovation partnership, in particular in the areas of food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. We will take an integrated approach recognising the important cross-cutting nature of innovation/entrepreneurship, research infrastructures and technical skills development in Africa and Europe.

32. To this end, the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation will be the key platform in the JAES for priority-setting and implementation design. A HLPD expert working group will be set up that will be tasked with developing a detailed roadmap defining the scope and outlining the different steps to be taken towards this new partnership. Financing will come from the European Research and Innovation Programme, Horizon 2020, and other contributions from EU and African stakeholders.

page 12. Agriculture, food security and food safety
58. We will enhance our research on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. We will particularly support the implementation of the medium term operational plans of African regional research and extension organisations and harness the expertise of global agricultural research initiatives to contribute to African research priorities in line with CAADP, the Science Agenda for African Agriculture and the
African Agriculture Technology Platform.

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