Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, April 9, 2018

Opportunities for Blockchain Technologies in Farm to fork food traceability

26-28 March 2018. Kigali. Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stift

The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally.

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Extract of the programme:
Opportunities for Blockchain Technologies in Addressing Africa’s Challenges 
This session focused on Blockchain technologies in particular their applications beyond cryptocurrencies, as well as policy implications.

Panelists provided insights on Blockchain applications in several sectors that include logistics, finance, healthcare, agriculture as well as the policy implications for the adoption of such a cutting-edge technology in the current environment in Africa.
  • Moderator: Jake Bright, Contributor on Africa at TechCrunch and Crunchbase. Award Winning Author of The Next Africa
  • Komminist Weldermariam, IBM-Research Africa, Kenya
    @ 11:11 blockchain technology and number of actors involved in the advocado export and trade@ 13:05 Farm to fork food traceability
    @ 38:08
    Answers the question: "What device does the farmer need?"
    Related: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)This website is a resource to educate the public about the main elements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Enforcement date: 25 May 2018
  • Sam Yala, International Account Manager of Security Products in Worldline, Belgium

Feeding the World, Preserving the World
The panel addressed factors influencing Climate Change Agriculture, adoption in Africa including the technical, social, political and institutional environment. 
  • Ousmane Badiane - Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI),
    Researchers in Mali have developed manual machines to presh oil out of groundnuts and reducing aflatoxin.
    Millet Varieties from Senegal are now used in Ivory Coast and added to wheat flour for baking bread
    The better processed and packaged millet sells among the middle class in Senegal
  • Sanushka Naidoo - NEF Fellow, 
  • Pierre Thiam - Co-founder of Yolele Foods, (based in New York)
    Fonio is a gluten-free ancient African supergrain with 3 times the protein, fiber and iron of rice.
    Situated on the western coast of Africa, Senegal is a multicultural country with culinary influences from all over the world. Author Pierre Thiam grew up in its capital, Dakar, surrounded by bright, flavorful ingredients and passionate home cooks.
    His debut cookbook celebrates the art of creating family meals using organic, local produce and farm-fresh meats and seafood.
    An accessible and delicious introduction to the next big thing: African cuisine.
  • Agnes Kalibata - President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
    One girl came up with a bean variety that only requires 40 minutes of cooking instead of 4 hours
    Uber for Tractors is really promising
  • Simeon Ehui - Director, Food and Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank 
  • Adam Sneyd, University of Guelph (Canada) moderating the panel.


Africa’s Low Carbon Circular Economy
Panelists on Africa’s Low Carbon Circular Economy session discussed recommendations on how to unlock the full potential of this new emerging concept for Africa. The transition of African nations to industrial economies that do not produce waste and pollution will help accelerate its growth. 
  • Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment, Republic of Rwanda
  • Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, the United Nations Cultural, Scientific and Educational Organization (UNESCO), 
  • Rocio A Diaz-Chavez, Deputy Director for Research and Energy and Climate Change Programme Leader at the Stockholm Environment Institute Africa Centre, 
  • Hans Bolscher, Senior Consultant Climate and Renewable Energy, 
  • Justus Masa, Dr. Justus Masa is a Senior Research Scientist and Leader of the Electrocatalysis and Energy Conversion Group at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. He holds a PhD in Natural Sciences from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, with masters and undergraduate degrees from Makerere University. He has been a Visiting Scholar in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Oxford. He is a co-inventor of four patents, one of which was sold to Bayer – materials division (Germany). His core research is in the field of electrocatalysis and energy conversion.
  • Kathryn Toure, International Development Research Centre Regional (IDRC) Director, Sub-Saharan Africa who was the session Moderator.


The loss of knowledge of Africa´s plant diversity
  • Presentation by Sayed Azam-Ali - Chief Executive Officer of Crops For the Future (CFF) about the FORGOTTEN FOOD NETWORK
  • Crops For the Future (CFF) is leading the Forgotten Foods Network – a global initiative to collect and share information on foods, recipes and traditions that are part of our common heritage.
  • The  Forgotten Foods Network  was launchedon 3 November 2017, by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at the CFF Headquarters
  • Presentation Starting @3:00 The African agricultural diaspora can be re-connected with the knowledge of its crops. We can connect African Agricultural Scientists from the Diaspora and their knowledge.
  • Response @49:38 We need an urgent initiative to capture the knowledge of the farmers which will otherwise get lost. This knowledge has to be made available for the next generation and we give this knowledge back to the farmers so that they can improve their agricultural systems. The big question is, how to we get this information from the farmers´s head and share it with scientific data. Most of the farmers are willing but they may not have the writing skills, the language needs to be translated. But we must do this urgently because if we don´t we loose 10,000 years of history of farming in one generation and we will have to rediscover all that knowledge from the beginning.
  • @52:00 Often Science is being accused of be supply driven. We have a technology and we look for a commercial use. We are now looking at a demand led knowledge system. This would drive science which can be the climate resilient crops of the future that are the source of nutritious food. And not just promote these crops for markets.


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