Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tropentag 2018: Linking African Diaspora Agro Food Entrepreneurs to Research and SMEs

16 September 2018. Gent, Belgium. Tropentag 2018 Workshop number 5.
African Diaspora entrepreneurship is an overlooked opportunity for a sustainable input in the development discourse and policy making too. For years the focus has been on the remittances from African Diasporas, as a constant source of economic empowerment and development in many African communities. Now a new generation of African Diaspora entrepreneurs, are taking advantage of their global interconnections for innovative projects in the agro food sector in Africa and Europe.

An engaged African Diaspora entrepreneur with links to research and SMEs is an asset in the development of Africa.

Prof.Zerihun Tadale
This Diaspora workshop is a follow-up on a Diaspora Agro Food Forum held in Brussels on 25 April 2018. The African Diaspora Agro Food Forum 2018 was an opportunity to link research to diaspora investments in agricultural value chains, particularly in food processing. The workshop is open to registered participants of Tropentag and members of the African Diaspora. Delicacies of the African cuisine will be served during the 3 days of the conference (and pre-conference day).

Social media of the event
Social media of Tropentag
Hans-Jorg Lutzeyer
European Commision
DG Research and Innovation
"We need more of such dialogues
between research,SMEs and the diaspora"
Part one 
  • Keynote presentation by Prof. Zerihun Tadale. Group Leader, Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern Switzerland - Role of African scientific diaspora: Opportunities and Challenges
    "Crop researchers are like a fighting parliament"
    "Food security could be achieved globally by implementing efficient techniques which boost productivity and enhance nutritional quality on both major and locally important crops. The success of food security also depends on the commitment and partnership of relevant stakeholders"

    "My view on future food security:
    Optimistic: responsibilities of stakeholders fulfilled (value-chain approach)
    Pessimistic: low productivity, inferior quality food, climate change, population increase, policy"

Part Two
  • Ms Eva Ba (see picture), Cofounder Seregal and Juleva - makers of Talina Bissap Hibiscus Drink - How a Belgian product initiative became an agriculture development project in Senegal.
    "#Tropentag2018 #paepard "The bureaucracy to get your produce in Europe from African origin is daunting.There should be a support for entrepreneurs on administrative requirements"

  • Mrs Zilipa Nyirabyago, Solidev Rwanda and winner of SusTech4Africa 2018 competition

  • Mr Pape Ousmane NDIAYE (see picture), CEO and Founder of Fruitech - Yeesal: an agri tech hub serving the rural world and young people

  • Ms Odile Ano (see picture), CEO of 1001 Noyaux France , member of the PAEPARD/ColeACP consortium - 1001 Noyaux : From value creation to eco-responsible consumption

  • Dr. Helene Mavar, Lecturer ULB Belgium and University of Kisangani, Congo. Founder Aksantimed - Africa: innovation and food processing for development / Afrique: l'innovation et la transformation alimentaire pour le développement

  • Mr Philippe Convent, Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs Belgium - Socially engaged Entrepreneurs supporting sustainable development in the south

  • Mr Lens Lepauw, Microstart Belgium - Get to know microStart and it's support for entrepreneurship towards African Diaspora

Part three: Recommendations

The recommendations of the present Tropentag pre-Conference Workshop will feed into one of the parallel sessions of The global Diaspora week: Session 3 : Diaspora innovations for agricultural productivity and sustainability (5 October 2018. European Parliament, Brussels).
Which support is most needed, to stimulate more Diaspora agro food initiatives?
  • We need a one stop shop (ColeACP?) where the national legislation of European countries on requirements (barriers) to African food import are listed up (beyond phyto sanitary standards).
  • Funding and meetings are too much organised according to "schools of thoughts" not allowing for cross contacts and discussion between agro-ecology, conservation agriculture, bio-technology, resource poor farming, etc. 
  • The Annual State of the EU address by President Juncker at the European Parliament gives encouraging signals to increase and improve EC-AU dialogue,including on research

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