Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, October 31, 2019


30 October 2019. Cairo. Egypt hosted the 10th edition of the Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS).

This landmark event was celebrated under the auspices of His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and planned by the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the AU Commission in consultation with AUDA-NEPAD and in partnership with HarvestPlusWFP and other stakeholders.

The ceremonial event was preceded by a one-day Technical Dialogue on 29th October 2019 and was Towards Ending Hunger in Africa: Leveraging New Agricultural Technologies for Improved African Diets”.
informed by the theme: “

The ADFNS has been celebrated annually since its launch in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 31st October 2010. From then Addis Ababa, Niamey, Kinshasa, Kampala, Accra, Abidjan and Dar es Salaam hosted it under different themes aligned to food and nutrition security.

In October 2010 the African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda, designated October 30 to be Africa Day of Food and Nutrition Security. This observance was established to attract new commitments to achieve the ultimate goal of ending hunger in Africa. Currently the governments of African states do their best to end hunger by 2025, this goal was declared during the famous meeting on June 30-July 1 in Addis, Ethiopia.

Boot of Leap4FNSSA at the
10th African Food Day
Every year AU Summit chooses a special theme to organize various events and highlight the most important issues of hunger in Africa. The events facilitate strengthening country's engagements to secure food and nutrition agenda and consolidate political commitments to end hunger.

10th African Day for food and nutrition security (ADFNS)

The Cairo conference discussed opportunities and initiatives to increase access to science in
agriculture, as well as public policies on nutrition and food support. In addition, the conference tackled food and poverty issues inside the black continent.
  • The 1st day of the event addressed several topics including; malnutrition, adopting technology and research to develop the agriculture process, which reflected on the increase of production, in addition to taking advantage of Egyptian experiences and expertise to improve agriculture in African countries.
  • The second day of the ADFNS was attended by Egypt’s health, endowments, immigration, higher education, supply, and trade ministers.



UNCTAD, 2017, 55 pages.

Nutrition and Food Systems Implementation Plan: Towards a Coordinated and Accelerated Action for the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition in Africa, AUDA-NEPAD March 2019, 39 pages
The AUDA-NEPAD Nutrition and Food Systems Implementation Plan aims to catalyse and support this agenda and enable Member States to address malnutrition more effectively. This explicitly builds on a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach involving an array of actions by several sectors in different forms in different countries.

In order to achieve these goals, AUDA-NEPAD commits to adopting a multisectoral and food systems approach by:
  • Accelerating agriculture impact on nutrition through increased dietary diversity and related improvements in nutrient adequacy and quality of diets. 
  • Promoting maternal and young child nutrition through advocacy of essential nutrition interventions. These and include AUDA-NEPAD’s support to Scaling up Nutrition action on the continent and, including expanding work on the Cost of Hunger and Cost of Interventions to all African countries.
  • Supporting better school feeding programmes promoted as a social protection mechanism through programmes that support the production and market creation for smallholder farmers.
  • Developing nutrition and food systems professional capacity for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition action on the African continent promoted.
  • Generating and sharing strategic knowledge including management lessons on best practices to support nutrition progress in Africa.


The importance of research on the African food heritage

Interview with H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture African Union Commission. She answers following questions:
  • How important is research to preserve the African food heritage? "Research is important to have more evidence but the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is facing major financial constraints"
  • Can traditional food improve the diets?
  • How can research help to rediscover the value of African traditional food? - How can the African Union Research Grants promote the collaboration between North Africa and the rest of Africa?
  • Dr. Habiba WASSEF: "The African food heritage should be the first pillar in fighting malnutrition" (Resolution of the Third Africa Science, Technology and Innovation Forum, Cairo 10-12/02/2018
  • Is it possible to promote the consumption of lentils and beans in Africa?

Overview of the recommendations made by the North Africa consultation meeting

Extract of the speech of Hon. Ezzedin Abu Steit, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, giving an overview of the recommendations made by the North Africa consultation meeting of 28th of October, organized by LEAP4FNSSA with the support of ARC/ Agricultural Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.

South-South collaboration North Africa-SSA

Interview with Hon. Ezzedin Abu Steit, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt South-South collaboration North Africa-SSA
  • How can African countries benefit from the annual Food Manufacturing Exhibitions in Cairo? • What is the expertise of the Egyptian Desert Research Center?
  • How important is the upscaling of raised-bed technologies to produce faba beans and wheat in Egypt?
  • How important is the collaboration among the CGIAR centers at the level of your country?

Forthcoming interviews:

  • Selmi with Salmi AIDA, Research Engineer Tunis
  • Dr. Mahmoud Elies Hamza, President Institution of Agricultural Research and Higher Education (IRESA)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Experts from Africa Come Together to Validate Plan of Action for a Continental Online Seed Platform

AfricaSeeds and key stakeholders have come together in Abidjan to validate the project document on the next four years of the Seed Knowledge Gateway (SKG), an online platform on seed information for Africa. AfricaSeeds has achieved a lot since the Inception Workshop of the Seed Gateway held last February in Akosombo, Ghana. The Inception Workshop set the bases for drafting a project document designed to guide the development of the online platform during the four following years.
During the opening address of the Validation Workshop held in Abidjan from 7 to 9 of August, 2019, AfricaSeeds’ Executive Director, Dr Kouame Miezan, charged participants: “your special expertise in various aspects of the planned SKG will help us enormously to finalize and validate the project document that will end up in shaping such an important tool for the transformation of African agriculture.”

During the Preparatory Phase, from September 2018 to the end of July 2019, a team of seed and IT experts, coordinated by the lead consultant Josiah Wobil, conducted a comprehensive series of participatory consultations of key stakeholders of the knowledge landscape of Africa. Special attention was paid to involve in the process national and regional experts in charge of data and knowledge management for their respective institution. The team subsequently conceived the project document, which outlines the creation and implementation of an online effective, user-friendly, sustainable information platform. The draft project document was discussed during the Validation Workshop.
Altogether, the Seed Knowledge Gateway is meant to become the one-stop-shop for information on the African seed sector, to address the huge problem of data and statistics insufficiency in seed sector development planning and implementation.
The main stakeholders on the SKG are envisaged to be National Governments and experts, development partners, and key continental or regional partners such as FARA, CORAF, IITA, NASC, COMESA, DSI-Burkina Faso and AFSTA.

The Validation Workshop, attended by 17 experts from various African countries, Ministries and International Organizations, met the main objective of securing validation of the SKG project document. Particularly, the Workshop participants succeeded in achieving consensus on the structure and content of the project document towards additional work by the consultants and complementary efforts by participants to achieve a finalized document.
With his intervention at the workshop, Dr Jonas Chianu of the African Development Bank, gave a boost to the validation process: “the importance of seed data and information in the realization of the goals of the Feed Africa Initiative of the Bank cannot be overstated; I encourage you to pursue the development of the SKG portal, as it will be significantly contributing to the compacts in the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Program.”
Participants lauded the Swiss Development Cooperation for its support to the Preparatory Phase, as well as the key contribution from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria as well of Government of Côte d’Ivoire.
All participants urged continued support into the Main Phase, and appealed to all African Governments to show commitment by contributing adequate national resources to the proposed budget.

Sourced From: AfricaSeeds

Monday, October 28, 2019

Building Research and Innovation Collaborations within the frame of the African-European Partnership and the FNSSA Road Map

28 October 2019. Cairo. On the occasion of the 10th Africa Food Day Commemoration, held in joint food and nutrition security research and innovation projects within the Africa-EU Partnership.

The purpose is to enable the emergence of synergies and the optimization of funding and investments, while establishing the linkages between all relevant public and private players in the region.

Egypt under the chairmanship of the African Union by Egypt in 2019, the North Africa event, organized by LEAP4FNSSA with the support of ARC/ Agricultural Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, launched a public private alliance of partners between Europe and North Africa to develop

Specific objectives

H.E. Professor Dr. Ezz El Din Abu Steit,
Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
and Amb Ivan Surkos, Head EC Delegation
  • Inform on the objective to launch an AU-EU Funders Alliance dedicated to FNSSA R&I, and initiate a tentative calendar and potential participants’ approval.
  • Foster actors from practice: knowledge, communication and innovation hubs, identify young entrepreneurs interested to develop business plans inspired by recommendations from the EU-AU FNSSA alliances, and link small businesses with research funding opportunities to fuel innovation, with the purpose to identify relevant innovation actors and approaches to work with research.
  • Elaborate mechanisms to link research and practice and develop a methodology and an effective approach to matching the needs of farmers and private sector to the research community.
  • Initiate a process to recruit “Pioneer” partners towards the establishment of a North African chapter of the Africa‐EU‐Partnership and of a Europe-Africa R & I Consortium to improve the level of collaboration between Europe and Africa on FNSSA.

Brief outline of LEAP4FNNSA

The prospect for the enhancement of an AU-EU Funders Alliance and a North Africa Chapter on research and innovation for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture – FNSSA. Discussion on needed resources, which could support or already contribute to building AU-EU Funders Alliance and enhancing a North Africa Chapter.
  • Dr. Tarek El-Arabi, Director of Egypt-EU cooperation, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt
  • Dr. Bernard Mallet, Agriculture Projects Coordinator, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France

Panel discussion
Presentation by Tanta motors

Panelists took-stock of outcomes and discussions of the above session and analysed and identified possible ways and mechanisms, to enhance AU-EU Funders Alliance and a North Africa Chapter on research and innovation on FNSSA.

Panel 1 – Thematic priorities and topics

  • Dr. Shireen Assem, Deputy Chairman for Research, ARC, Egypt
  • Dr. Imane Thami Alami, Head of Scientific Division, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Morocco
  • Haj/Hussein Abdel Rahman, President Farmers' syndicate, Egypt
  • Dr. Habiba Wassef, Trustee, African Nutrition Society, Egypt
  • Dr. Mohamed Elies Hamza, President, Institution de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement Superieur Agricoles (IRESA), Tunisia

Panel 2 – Policies, innovation and enterprising

  • Dr. Mohamed El Shinawi, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt and Co-Chair of PRIMA Foundation.
  • Dr. Daniele Rossi, European Secretary General of Confagricoltura (Italy)
  • Eng. Amr Abu Freikha, Chairman, Tanta Motors, Egypt
  • Emad Elazhary, Strategy & Business Development Director, Vodafone Egypt
  • Dr. Jacques Wery, Deputy Director General Research, ICARDA (CGIAR)

Panel 3 – Innovation agencies and entrepreneurs:

  • Dr. Amr Farouk, Assistant ASRT President, Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt
  • Eng. Hanan El-Hadary, Executive Director, Technology and Innovation Industrial Council, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Egypt 
  • Dr. Harrison Charo Karisa, Country Director, Egypt and Nigeria, World Fish/CGIAR
  • Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, President High Atlas Foundation, Morocco
  • Eng. Shehab El-Nawawy, Chairman, Giza Systems Foundation

Panel 4 – Idea-carriers:

  • Mouhsine Lakhdissi, CTO and partner - AGRIDATA consulting Morocco
  • Eng. Hussein Mansour, CEO Aller Aqua, Egypt
  • Lynda Allouche, Independent Researcher & Innovator, Algeria
  • Abdelrahman Fahmy, Start-up, Chairman, YTG, Egypt
  • Aida Selmi, Start-up Co-Founder, BIO-WONDER, Tunisia
  • Yehia Selmi, co-founder, Bio-wonder, Tunisia


Facilitators: Henning Knipschild, Germany, J. Dorra Fiani, Egypt
Conclusions aimed at building a comprehensive framework of recommendations on ways, mechanisms, priorities and innovations towards the establishment of the AU-EU Alliance and North African Chapter on R&I in FNSSA.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Euromed Summit: Digitalisation and SMEs in the Mediterranean region

22-23 October 2019. Barcelona. The 2019 Summit of Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (EESC), focused on the topic of the impact of digitalisation on SMEs in the Mediterranean area. The event brought together over 100 participants from a range of economic and social councils, or similar institutions, representatives of employers, trade unions, other economic and social interests groups and NGOs from UfM countries.

The opening session featured the UfM Deputy Secretary General Rachid Maaninou, the EESC
President, Luca Jahier, Acting President Economic and Social Council of Spain María del Carmen Barrera, and the President of Ascame, Ahmed M. El Wakil. Speakers highlighted the opportunities to innovate and grow for SMEs thanks to digitalisation, but underlined it also seriously affects the world of work and skill requirements for workers.

Throughout two days of workshops, the Summit stressed the need to integrate millions of young graduates into the job market each year, a major challenge for the countries of the Southern Mediterranean. Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) play a decisive role in the fight against youth unemployment as they are important drivers of job creation and provide 80% of employment in the region. Indeed, training workers to fully benefit from the changes brought by digitalisation is key for economic and social development, both in the North and in the South of the Mediterranean.


Event information
Photo galleries
Press releases
Related information report

Extract of the progamme:

Session 1: Digitalisation and SMEs in the Mediterranean region, opportunities and challengesThis session was based on the draft report prepared by the EESC and sent to the delegations before the summit. It provided an opportunity to address issues in a wide discussion with the audience.
  • Moderator: Mr Mohammad Nabulsi, secretary general, ESC of Jordan
  • Ms María Helena de Felipe Lehtonen, president of the Euromed Follow-Up Committee of the European Economic and Social Committee
  • Ms Rym Ayadi, founder of the Euro-Mediterranean Economist Association
Workshop 3 Digitalisation to counter rural depopulation 
  • Moderator: Mr Erjon Curraj, Digital Transformation Expert, Albania
  • Mr Juan José Álvarez, president of the Working Group on Agriculture and Fisheries, Economic and Social Council of Spain 
  • Ms Laura Tabet (see picture), Egypt Focal Point at Access Agriculture
Session 6: Networks in the Euro-Mediterranean area – developing regional cooperationThis session gave the floor to regional networks to present their activities and enhance their visibility.
  • Moderator: Mr Henri Malosse, former President, EESC
  • Mr Mustapha Tlili, Executive Secretary of the Arab Trade Union Confederation (ATUC)
  • Ms Beatriz Fdez-Tubau Rodés, Secretary-General of the Association of Organisations of Mediterranean Businesswomen (AFAEMME)
  • Ms Carmen Comos, representative of the Euro-Mediterranean Social Economy Network (ESMED) and Director General of the Spanish Social Economy Employers’ Confederation
  • Mr Vicent Garcés Ramón, President of the Mediterranean Citizens' Assembly Foundation (MCAF)

Friday, October 25, 2019

FARA and SROs Kick-Start SISTA

As part of the Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA), the European Commission (EC) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are jointly supporting the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) ex-pillar IV Organisations in implementing a science-led and climate-relevant agricultural programme; Supporting Implementation of a Science-Led and Climate-Relevant Agricultural Transformation in Africa (SISTA).

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and partner sub-regional agricultural research organizations are benefiting from the programme, which seeks among other things to contribute to progressive achievement of zero hunger (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2), the action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG 13), to promote progress towards ending poverty (SDG 1), gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), and responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). The Programme will additionally contribute to Agenda 2063 and the Malabo Declaration of the African Union (AU).

With financing from the European Union, the five organizations – FARA, AFAAS, CORAF, ASARECA, CCARDESA –  will implement individual projects as part of the overall programme with overall objective to enable agricultural research and innovation, including extension services, to contribute effectively to food and nutrition security, to economic development and climate mitigation in Africa. This will be achieved by improving the capacity, effectiveness and positioning of the regional and sub-regional agriculture research and extension organizations as well as National Agriculture Research Systems, and by promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing among the organizations.
The SISTA Inception Workshop was held in Johannesburg from 21st to 25th October and was attended by representatives of the implementing organisations and other partners and collaborators.

Sourced From: FARA Africa

Thursday, October 24, 2019

2nd African Young Water Professional Forum

20 - 24 October 2019. Cairo, Egypt. The 2nd Cairo Water Week (CWW). - 2nd African Young Water Professional Forum.

21st – 23rd of October 20192nd African Young Water Professional Forum. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Cairo Water Week 2019. Owing to the success of the 1st Af-YWPF, the forum has grown to attract more than 570 members from all African countries, thus becoming an important platform at the African continent for capacity building of Africa’s future leaders in water-related sectors. Thus, keeping in mind the importance of the Af-YWPF, the MWRI of Egypt, AFRWG of the ICID,

The forum included the forum meeting, three days training workshop and two days to converge with activities of the Cairo Water Week to give YP’s the opportunity to engage with experts and stakeholders in the water sector.

The Forum catering for Young Water Professionals of diverse backgrounds including utility, government, research, and private consulting and industry engagement was an action-packed 26 hours, spread over a 3-day period. During this span, key eminent (and experienced) resource persons, drawn from the academics and the professions, were invited to have 15 hrs. of contact/training/interactive sessions with Af-YWP; split into different hands-on-training workshops and seminars.

Video interviews with:

Secretary General, International Commission on Irrigation and drainage, Ministero per le Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali, Rome - Italy. He answers following questions:
  • Why is DryArc an important initiative?
  • How can DryArc be complementary to what the International Commission on Irrigation and drainage (ICID) is doing?
  • What is ICID's interest in South-South collaboration?
  • What would be the most important research priority?

Managing Director Netherlands Water Partnership. She answers following questions:
  • Has the Netherlands Water Partnership expertise in water conflict prevention?
  • What about the retention on sharing data and information?
  • Can NWP influence the Dutch research agenda?
  • Which lessons can be learned from the way NWP is structured?
  • How difficult is multi disciplinary collaboration?

Dr. Ragab Ragab (ICID + CEH/Wallingford) The multiple benefits of drip irrigation for agriculture
Principal Hydrologist Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Natural Environment Research Council - Wallingford, Oxon, United Kingdom. He answers following questions:
  • Why have plants - cultivated under mild stress - an enhanced flavor?
  • This can have a considerable commercial value?
  • How can the Saltmed 2019 e-course be used in the DryArc capacity building activities?
  • As a strong defender of drip irrigation yourself:  is drip irrigation  about convincing farmers or about state intervention?
  • Is the cost of drip irrigation a good reason not to implement it?

The SALTMED mathematical model predicts soil moisture, yield and total dry biomass of crops in salty soils. The model brings together data on water, crop, soil and field management in salinity-prone areas to provide management guidelines for farmers.

The Global Economy of Pulses

The Global Economy of Pulses, a key research output of the International Year of Pulses 2016, has been released by the FAO.

Bulk of the work for the report, edited by Vikas Rawal and Dorian K Navarro, was done by a research team of the Society for Social and Economic Research (SSER), New Delhi.

The production, trade and consumption of pulses have seen substantial growth over the last fifteen years.

  • The report The Global of Economy Pulses examines the trends and patterns of this growth, and the factors that explain these for different kinds of pulses. 
  • The report presents an analysis of trends of consumption of pulses in different regions of the world and discusses the role that pulses can play in human nutrition.
  • The report presents an analysis of the dynamics of growth of major pulses in different pulse-producing countries of the world. It describes the increasingly important role of trade in the global economy of pulses and presents an analysis of changing patterns of trade. 
  • The report argues that there is a pressing need to close the large gap between potential and actual yields, particularly on smallholder farms in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, by increased adoption of improved varieties and modern agronomic practices in all developing countries. This in turn requires a major thrust in agricultural research and extension, improving credit availability, and public investment directed at pulse production. 
  • The report discusses future prospects and policy imperatives for sustaining the growth of pulse production.

The report comprises 10 chapters.
  1. Introduction (Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Vikas Rawal and Dorian Kalamvrezos Navarro)
  2. Pulses: Nutritional Benefits and Consumption Patterns (Vikas Rawal, Ruth Charrondiere, Maria Xipsiti and Fernanda Grande)
  3. Chickpea: Transformation in Production Conditions (Vikas Rawal and Prachi Bansal with contributions from Kanika Tyagi)
  4. Pulses of Phaseolus and Vigna Genera (Prachi Bansal, Vikas Rawal and Vaishali Bansal)
  5. Lentil: Emergence of Large-scale, Export-oriented Production (Vikas Rawal and Vaishali Bansal)
  6. Pigeonpea: Smallholder Production (Jesim Pais and Vaishali Bansal)
  7. Dry Pea: Production Driven by Demand for Animal Feed (Prachi Bansal and Vaishali Bansal)
  8. Pulses of the Vicia genus (Prachi Bansal)
  9. Value Chains and Markets (Mandira Sarma, Jesim Pais and Vaishali Bansal with contributions from Robert Burden)
  10. Drivers of Growth and Future Growth Prospects (Vikas Rawal with contributions from Merritt Cluff)


Video interviews:

Interview (Oct. 2017) with Vikas Rawal, Professor of economics Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
“Farmers have to be encouraged to cultivate pulses for the sake of food security and as an import substitution measure. The global demand for pulses depends on the Indian consumption of pulses. It is really dependent on growth demand from India.”

Interview (Dec. 2016) with Dorian Kalamvrezos Navarro, Consultant, Division du commerce et des marchés (EST) FAO
« La production est géographiquement très concentrée. L’Inde représente à elle seule un quart de la production mondiale. Il-y-a plusieurs contraintes dans la production des légumineuses. Cela va des insectes, maladies, au climat, des précipitations incertaines, passant aussi par des contraintes institutionnelles, infrastructurelles. Il est de plus en plus évident que la clé pour l’augmentation de la production des légumineuses a l’échelle mondiale est politique et pas seulement technique. Dans beaucoup de pays il y a une politique agricole qui accorde une préférence à la production et auto-suffisance céréale. La production des légumineuses a été déplacée systématiquement vers des zones marginales, laissant les zones fertiles à d’autres cultures. On a surtout besoin de politiques et programmes appropriés, pour renforcer le système de production des légumineuses sur le terrain pour encourager la commercialisation des légumineuses dans des systèmes commerciaux locaux et aussi pour renforcer des habitudes de consommation durable. »

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Russia-Africa Forum in Sochi

23 - 24 October 2019. Sochi, Russia.The first Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum, co-chaired by Russia and Egypt.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addressed the plenary session of the forum and held a working breakfast with heads of Africa’s leading regional organisations. 

The two-day forum is expected to be attended by more than 3,000 representatives of African businesses. Trade, economic and investment agreements are expected to be signed between Africa and Russia. The two-day Russia-Africa summit brings together over 3,000 guests, including 44 presidents and prime ministers of African nations - among others:
  • President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa  
  • President of Republic of Namibia Hage Gottfried Geingob 
  • Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 
  • President of the Central African Republic (CAR) Faustin-Archange Touadera  
  • President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi 
  • President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni 
  • President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari 
  • Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan 
The report (Russian only) prepared by the Roscongress Foundation in collaboration with the International Trade and Integration Research Center (ITI) specially for the first Russia—Africa Economic Forum gives an overview of Africa’s role in global economy and of the trade relations between Russia and Africa.

Plenary session Russia and Africa: Uncovering the Potential for Cooperation 

  • Address by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin 
  • Address by the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdelfattah el-Sisi. 
  • H.E. Amani Abou-Zeid — Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission
  • Dmitry Kobylkin — Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
  • Andrey Kostin — President and Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank
  • Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa — Chief Executive Officer, Naspers Ltd
  • Benedict Okey Oramah — President, Chairman of the Board of Directors, African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank)
  • Maxim Oreshkin — Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
  • Andrey Slepnev — Chief Executive Officer, Russian Export Center
  • Stergomena Lawrence Tax — Executive Secretary, Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to double Russia’s trade with Africa in the next five years, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Russia-Africa summit. Putin said Russia was currently one of the ten largest food suppliers to Africa, noting that the volume of agricultural trade was already at a higher level than export of arms. 
“Export of weapons stands at $15 billion, and agricultural products have already reached that mark, in my opinion, of $25 billion. Russian companies have long and successfully worked with partners from various sectors of the African economy and were determined to increase the trade. "
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who co-chairs the summit with Putin, on his part invited “all private companies in Russia and other countries, as well as international financial organisations to cooperate and invest in Africa.” “Now is the right time for this,” Sisi concluded.

Sustainable Partnership in Agriculture: Institutions, Tools, and Guarantees

The steady development of African countries in the last few years, together with growing populations and income levels are all factors helping to boost agricultural production. However, a deficit of modern technology, lack of land suitable for farming, and a shortage of qualified personnel mean that the needs of the African market have not been fully met. 

Russia’s unique geographic conditions, together with its vast land and water resources, provide the country with enormous agricultural potential. In the past few years, Russian companies have taken active steps to increase exports of agricultural products and food. 

Indeed, Russia is already one of the ten largest food suppliers to Africa. However, a range of barriers related to infrastructure is currently hindering effective trade. Removing these could help collaboration reach an entirely new level. 
  • What can be done to build an effective logistics infrastructure aiming to boost partnerships with African countries? 
  • What is needed to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between Russia and Africa in the trade of agricultural products and food? 
  • What are the prospects today for Russian investment in agricultural production and infrastructure in African countries?
Moderator: Albert Davleev — President, Agrifood Strategies

  • Hon. Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo — Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Yehia Zakaria El Shafei — Chief Executive Officer, United Oil Processing and Packaging
  • Selim Basak — Managing Partner, Gemcorp Capital
  • Andrey Guryev — Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Management Board, PhosAgro
  • Eduard Zernin — Executive Director, Russian Union of Grain Exporters
  • Sergey Kislov — President, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Agroholding Yug Rusi
  • Dmitry Konyaev — Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM
  • Holger Kray (see picture) — Head of the Africa Policy Unit, World Bank Group
  • Sergey Levin — Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation
  • Angela Ndambuki — Chief Executive Officer, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Front row participants:
  • Ksenia Bolomatova — Deputy Director General, United Grain Company
  • Natalia Zagorskaya — General Director, LKHP Kirova
  • Sergey Ivanov — Executive Director, EFKO Management Company
  • Vasily Lavrovsky — Advisor to the Director of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance

Russia and Africa: Science, Education, and Innovation for Economic Development

The accelerated development of both Russia’s and Africa’s economic potential is inextricably linked to scientific output and the improvement of general education and professional training. The 21st century has heralded the rise of the knowledge economy. Scientific research and development results in new products and industries, and is able to make a vital contribution to tackling current social and economic challenges facing our countries. The Soviet Union made an invaluable contribution to developing the scientific and educational potential of a number of African countries. 
  • What can Russia offer today in terms of developing science and education in Africa, particularly as part of the African Union’s Agenda 2063? 
  • What new opportunities does cooperation in science and education with countries of the African continent present to Russia?
Moderator: Irina Abramova — Director, Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of
Sciences; Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Yuriy Balega — Vice-President, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • H.E. Abdoulaye Yero Balde — Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Guinea
  • Aiah Gbakima — Minister of Technical and Higher Education of the Republic of Sierra Leone
  • Pavel Zenkovich — First Deputy Minister of Enlightenment of the Russian Federation
  • H.E. Hala Helmy Elsaid Younes — Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Mikhail Kotyukov — Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation
  • H.E. Mohamed Methqal — Ambassador, General Director, Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation
  • Igor Morozov — Deputy Chairman, Committee for Science, Education, and Culture of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation
  • H.E. Maria do Rosario Braganca Sambo — Minister of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Angola
  • Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye — Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Uganda
  • Vladimir Filippov — Rector, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia


Climate Smart Africa: Harnessing Growth and Protecting the Gains

15-18 October 2019. Kigali. The GCCA+ hosted a regional climate change conference bringing together climate change project managers, policy experts and decision makers to consider how and adaptation and ecosystem based approaches, sustainable landscapes, and systemic approaches to NDCs and climate finance could help to unlock growth and long-term development for African countries.

The objective of this conference was to explore pressing issues that will impact the ability of African countries to achieve economic growth that is environmentally and socially inclusive and to showcase GCCA+ projects across the continent and in Rwanda, as well as promoting their learnings in a community of practice and informing ongoing strategic discussions around the delivery of EU funded climate assistance in Africa (and beyond).

Concept Note EN / Concept Note FR
Press Release
Agenda EN / Agenda FR

Opening GCCA+ Regional Conference Africa
GCCA+ Regional Conference Africa - Market Place

Africa’s Agriculture Trade in a changing environment

Wim Olthof of @europeaid : #rade is high on the agenda
of the EU cooperation with Africa especially
with the coming into place of the #AfCFTA
23 October 2019. Brussels Policy Briefing n. 58. Africa’s Agriculture Trade in a changing environment

@ctabrussels and @brubriefings #BBAfricaTrade

Boosting intra-African trade and deepening regional integration offer an effective channel to speed up Africa’s economic transformation. Higher volumes of intra-African trade in agricultural products and the elimination of non-tariff barriers have the potential to boost industrialization and enhance competitiveness, at country and industry levels, through higher investments in connectivity and infrastructure, both physical and digital.

Enabling policies that enhance intra-regional trade such as CFTA will be crucial to open up the continent to new investors and better opportunities for its entrepreneurs. As important will be allocating greater public expenditures to agriculture and to agricultural research and development in particular, harmonising regulations and decreasing barriers to intra-regional trade and providing an enabling environment for value chain development by strengthening market institutions and investing in infrastructure.

Note and Programme

Panel 1: New opportunities in regional trade for Africa 
This panel discussed trends and prospects of regional trade in Africa in the light of new policy
developments as well as Africa’s recent performance in different markets.

  • What do we know about intra-regional trade in Africa: findings of AATM 2019 Antoine Bouet, Senior Research Fellow and co-leader of the Globalization and Markets Program in the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division (MTID), IFPRI 
  • Impact of the CAP and lessons learned for Africa’s agricultural regional trade Alan Matthews, Professor of European Agricultural Policy, Trinity College, Ireland 
  • Supporting agribusiness development and industrialisation in the continent Mariam Yinusa, Principal Financial Economist, African Development Bank (AfDB) 
  • Investing in inclusive agricultural trade that benefits farmers Hanna Saarinen, Policy Advisor Food, Agriculture, Land, Oxfam EU 

Panel 2: Successes in regional trade
This panel presented some successes and innovative models in regional trade across regions in Africa and lessons learned for upscaling and expanding regional trade.
  • Africa-EU trade relations in agriculture and agrifood sector Cécile Billaux, Head of Unit, DG Trade, European Commission 
  • Opportunities in added-value products in local and regional markets Rose Mutuku, Managing Director, Smart Logistics Solution, Kenya 
  • From Bean to Bar: capturing value-added from cocoa Komi Agbokou, Founder and President, Togo Choco  
This is the second annual Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor (AATM), a fl agship publication that is part of a collaborative initiative between the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). The reports assess emerging and long-term trends and drivers behind Africa’s trade in agricultural products— including global trade, intra-African trade, and trade within regional economic communities (RECs).

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The 2nd Cairo Water Week (CWW)

Cairo, Egypt, October 20-24, 2019The 2nd Cairo Water Week (CWW) aimed at translating the vision created during the 1st CWW into steps towards best practices and suitable implementation plans. Driven by the success of the1st Cairo Water Week, it has been decided to make the CWW an annual event.

CWW ensures knowledge transfer and how it can be acquired through successful public or private business models, political opportunities and obstacles, and capacity building needs.

Plenary Session 1: “Achieving the SDGs under Water Scarcity”

The panelists of this session brought broad perspectives to respond to the many water-related linkages across all the SDGs. In the Near East and North Africa Region, there is one major resource whose scarcity would prove the largest obstacle to the achievement of the SDGs: Water. In this region, agriculture is the major consumer of water, and makes it is easy to realize the link between SDG6 – to ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ – and the SDG2 on food security, which in turn links with the SDG1 on poverty reduction.

It is evident through its links to food security, nutrition and health, rural development and growth, and the environment, that agriculture is a major driver in the attainment of the SDGs. Meanwhile, further links can also be seen with energy where the nexus between food, energy and water is one of the classic examples of water dependency. Similarly, water is strongly related to SDG11, which focuses on sustainable cities and communities.

The list could continue to show the many water-related linkages across all of the SDGs, and it is with this awareness of strong dependency on water that this session has been elaborated. Water scarcity, in fact, poses an enormous challenge in the achievement of the SDGs and more broadly the Agenda as a whole.

  • How should this challenge be addressed?
  • Which ‘measures’ need to be implemented, or to be enforced, in order to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs under this particularly constraining condition?
The panelists addressed different domains, spanning urban development, energy and agriculture, along with different spheres of interventions, including policy, institutions, investments and practices. Some evidence at country-level were illustrated as well.
  • Ms. Bianca Nijhof, Director of the Netherlands Water Partnership, board member of the Amsterdam
    International Water Week, The Netherlands
  • H.E. Mr. Mohamed AbdEl Aty,  Minister of water resources and irrigation, Egypt
  • Eng. Yousef Al Aitan, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Jordan – ‘Sustainable Development Platform of Water & Sanitation in Jordan’
  • Eng. Eweda Morshed, Chairman of the Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Dr. Felix Reinders, President of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)        
  • Mr. Aly Abousabaa, Director-General ICARDA, ‘DryArc Initiative: Systemic innovation to achieve the SDGs under water scarcity in the drylands
  • Mr. Manuel Sapiano, Chief Executive Officer at The Energy and Water Agency, Malta

Technical Session 8: “Water productivity as the cornerstone of water-limited food production.” Monday 21/10/2019

The session explored the crop water productivity gaps that could be bridged (ex. for the basis of our food basket), then analyzed the economic water productivity in light of recent social and institutional changes (ex. issues that affect WP such as access to water and water rights, sustainability, equity, changes along the value chain, the impact of food waste on WP), and finally explored how to inform the society on actions needed addressing the consumer and societal perceptions of the water needs for producing food and discussed the pros and cons of available indicators (ex. water footprint).
  • Mr. Pasquale Steduto (FAO) - moderator
  • Mr. Atef Swelam (ICARDA), ‘Improving Water Productivity: options at farm level.’
  • Mr. Amgad Elmahdi (IWMI), ‘Water Productivity at basin scale with water accounting and ICT Applications’
  • IFPRI, ‘Options for improving economic irrigation water efficiency for sustainable agricultural development.’

Technical Session 47: Supporting Smallholders for Resilient Food Security System

Conveners: World Food Prgramme (WFP) Egypt + Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation

Smallholders of Upper Egypt rural communities are vulnerable for many reasons, with heavy reliance on meagre income they generate from fragmented areas of land being the most prominent. The session presented what the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has done in partnership with the WFP to support these smallholders. It presented the different interventions under this support and how these interventions helped smallholders increase their production, and thus income, and enhance the efficiency of managing their water and land resources.

The speakers included:

  • Moderator: Dr. Ali Hozayen, Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.
  • Dr. Ithar Khalil, WFP.- Models for successful smallholders’ support and resilience building and experiences for improved irrigation management
  • Hussein Ghanem, Non-financial Services, SME group, National Bank of Egypt - Innovations for financial inclusion in agriculture and irrigation

Dedicated Social media for the Water Week