Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, August 24, 2015

EU-Africa cooperation in science, technology and innovation

Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
July 2015, 60 pages

The projects presented in this publication offer just a few concrete examples – 24 out of 590- of collaborative research platforms and networks in which African scientists, from the North to the South of the continent, cooperated with Europeans. They also show the added value of cooperation in STI as each one of these 24 projects made its own unique and important contribution to the daily lives of Europeans and Africans.

This publication highlights some of many fascinating projects through which the EU and Africa are currently innovating side by side. Each one, an opportunity to learn from one another: paving the way for deeper, mutually beneficial cooperation in the future. The research set out in this booklet is revealing what we can learn from traditional African medicines, how we can collaborate to tap into gamma ray astronomy, how we can harness the desert sun to produce clean energy and even how we can bring Africa’s culinary diversity to European markets.

  • EAU4FOOD Achieving a sustainable future for African farming . Since it began in July 2011, EAU4FOOD has focused on the needs of smallholder farmers. Study sites were purposely selected to represent Southern Africa (Mozambique and South-Africa), Northern Africa (Tunisia), West Africa (Mali) and East Africa (Ethiopia), to provide a baseline of usable data. From this, EAU4FOOD has been able to develop guidelines for achieving irrigated agriculture under a variety of water scarcity conditions. (page 22)
  • In collaboration with partners in Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Madagascar, Senegal, Ghana and South Africa, the AFTER project (African traditional Food Revisited by Research) developed ways to improve some 10 foods and drinks from Africa, based on local knowledge in these countries. The project designed ways to improve their safety, sensory quality and nutritional content by adapting traditional processing techniques. The researchers also surveyed consumers to assess their potential acceptance in Europe (page 24)
  • In 2009, African and European countries launched the ERAfrica project to develop a more balanced, coordinated way of collaborating on scientific problems. Aſter two years of preparation, the first call was launched to trial priorities, approaches and organisational systems developed using the project’s collaborative ethos. The response was strong: 124 projects applied for funds. A final list of 17 projects was chosen to share €8.29 million of funding. Food security was a clear priority in the list, while health and new energy were also popular topics. Some of the ERAfrica partners are applying for further EU funds to finance the administrative costs linked to a second call in late 2015/early 2016. Angola and Mali have already promised experts to help prepare this call, while the South African and French project members will continue to support the ERAfrica approach financially beyond this call. (page 38)
  • The initiative CAAST-Net Plus and its predecessor CAAST-Net are cultivating new ideas, sharing knowledge and building working relationships to tackle major challenges aff ecting both Africa and Europe, from climate change to health and food security. In the process, they are building an unprecedented environment for the development of science and technology cooperation. African partners in Africa-EU partnerships need to be willing to fund programmes in health, climate change and food and nutrition security, and not only rely on research funding from other regions. Providing recommendations, fostering awareness and enriching policy-making to address these and other challenges will be among the key achievements of CAAST-Net Plus. (page 40)

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