Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, June 30, 2023

5th African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) Agriculture Ministerial Conference

30 June 2023
. 5th African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) Agriculture Ministerial Conference

In the framework of the Africa-EU Partnership, the fifth AU-EU agriculture ministerial conference foresees 4 high-level thematic sessions, side events and a ministerial plenary session.
  • The thematic sessions were held in parallel in the morning and covered: (a) Sustainable investment in support of agri-food; (b) Research and innovation for smarter policies and technologies; (c) Climate resilience of agri-food systems; (d) Regional trade integration
  • 30/06 Side event PAFO, with the support of Agricord: AU-EU partnership and the role of farmers' organizations in resilient food systems and sustainable agri-food value chains

Sustainable investment in support of agri-food systems 

This session showcased some of the agricultural value chains which are having traction at country and regional level - both exportable (cocoa, cashew) and for all typology of markets (livestock, fruit and vegetables, aquatic, plant proteins etc) - as part of the Global Gateway delivery. The discussion included the opportunities and challenges around the use of blending instruments and guarantees in agriculture and agri-business – from AgriFI, ABC Fund, Huruma Fund, AATIF and others.

  • Chair – Ildephonse Musafiri, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources
  • Sheikh Zayed Moderator 
  • Carla Montesi, Director, Directorate-General for INTPA/EC
  • Marco Camagni, Global Technical Lead for rural institutions, International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD
  • Andrea Ghia, Responsible for the EU-Ghana agri-business platform, Eurocham Ghana 
  • Martin Fregene, Director for Agriculture, AFDB 
  • Changwe Kumalinga, Chief Financial Officer, Good Nature Agro 
  • Bongiwe Njobe, Chairperson, Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR)
  • Mohamed Manssouri, Director, FAO Investment Centre

Research and innovation for smarter policies and technologies 

Concept note # 3p.

The FNSSA International Research Consortium (FNSSA IRC) set up with the Horizon 2020 project “LEAP4FNSSA”, the Pan African Network for Economic Analysis of Policies (PANAP), the Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA), the DeSIRA initiative and over 450 FNSSA projects supported both by the AU and the EU are key building blocks of the rising AU-EU agricultural knowledge and innovation system.
  • Chair – Martin Heydon, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, 
  • Moderator - Kerstin Rosenow, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Agriculture & Rural Development, EC 
  • Irene Annor-Frempong, Leader of the International Consortium of AU-EU FNSSA research at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Research and Innovation Consultant and member of the SANAD high-level political dialogue 
  • Andrés Montero Aparicio, Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Spain
  • Godfrey Bahiigwa, African Union, Director for the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (ARBE
  • Muriel Mambrini, Director Research and Program Evaluation, French National Research Institute for Sustainable development (INRAE)
  • King-David Amoah, President of The Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana 
  • Arwyn Jones, EU Soil Observatory, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (JRC/EC)

Climate resilience of agri-food systems 

In its recently (March 2023) published submission to the UNFCCC6 (# 10 p.) the EU stressed the need for better consideration of food systems in relation to climate change.  The submission to the Joint Work on Implementation of Climate Action on Agriculture and Food Security referred to research:
"Enhancing research and development on issues related to agriculture and food security and consolidating and sharing related scientific, technological and other information, knowledge (including local and indigenous knowledge), experience, innovations and best practices"
This session assessed the interconnections between African and European food systems, and launching a process for more effectively exploiting the opportunities of African and European food strategies to jointly contribute to achieving the United Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and Paris Agreement goals. 
  • Chair – Luis Planas Puchades, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Spain Room - Malaysia Moderator - Ron Hartman, Director for Global Engagement, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Speakers 
  • Martin Frick, Director, World Food Programme
  • Ana Maria Loboguerrero Rodriguez, Research Director for Climate Action at the Alliance of Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CGIAR) 
  • Christopher Ian Brett, Lead Agribusiness Specialist in the Global Agricultural Practice of the World Bank
  • Kaveh Zahedi, Director, Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Kolyang Palebele, President, PanAfrican Farmers Organisation (PAFO) 
  • Kati Partanen, Member of the Board of Directors, World Farmers Organisation (WFO) and Member of the Board, Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), Finland 

Regional trade integration 

The development of intra-African trade in agri-food products is crucial for Africa's economic transformation and for a strengthened resilience in nutrition and food security on the African Continent. Africa remains a priority for EU trade and investment policy. This thematic session took stock of the recent updates in the EU-AU trade relations and exchange on different experiences of trade integration in the two Continents with a view to foster the resilience and sustainability of our food systems.
  • Chair – Minister, African Union  
  • Moderator - Viwanou Gnassounou, Former Assistant Secretary-General Sustainable Economic Development & Trade; Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) 
  • Magda Kopczynska, Deputy-Director General, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission 
  • Rob Vos, Director Markets, Trade and Institutions (MTID), International Food Policy Research Institue (Ifpri) 
  • Alex Assanvo, Executive Secretary, Initiative Cacao Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana (CIGCI) 
  • Elizabeth Mpofu, Chairperson, Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF)

Plenary session - AU – EU Agriculture Ministerial Conference

Opening addresses 
  • Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment AU
  • Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture EC
  • Qu Dongyu, Director General, FAO
  • Mohamed El-Quseir, Minister of Agriculture, Egypt 
  • Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Italy

Keynote addresses 
  • Ousmane Badiane, Executive Chairperson, Akademiya 2063 
  • Maness Nkhata, President of Farmers Union of Malawi 
  • Agnes Kalibata, President AGRA, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy 2021 Food System’s Summit 
  • Alvaro Lario, President,  IFAD

Reporting of the morning high level thematic sessions 
  • Investment Ildephonse Musafiri, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda 
  • Research and innovation Martin Heydon, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland 
  • Climate resilience Luis Planas Puchades, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Spain 
  • Regional Trade Minister, African Union 

Side Events 

Side event 1: What AU-EU Partnership to Unlock the Potential of African Agriculture and Develop Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems?

Concept note

Side Event 2: An African perspective on GI: how the Continental Strategy for Geographical Indications in Africa contributes to resilience and sustainability of food systems

Concept note

Since the launch of the GI/Arica Strategy, a Consultative Committee constituted by OAPI (Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle), ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Office), the African Union Commission[4], and the European Commission[5], have ensured coordination of and synergies between the GI activities of the various partners[6]. During its last meeting in November 2022, the Consultative Committee took stock of the progress made and drew lessons to inform the post 2023 GI Strategy. Some of the achievements under the Strategy were shared during the “Africa session” of the FAO-CIRAD Worldwide perspectives on GIs organized in Montpellieron July 2022.
  • Moderation: Magdalena Kopczynska, DGAGRI. 
  • Minister of Agriculture Senegal and/or Ethiopia, 
  • Minister of Agriculture of Ghana and/or South Africa, 
  • Minister of Agriculture of Chad and/or of Agriculture of Mauritania, 
  • Godfrey Bahiigwaa, DARBE Director. 

Side Event 3: Responsible investments in food value chains for resilient food systems

Concept note

This side-event presented several examples of successful approaches on the ground on responsible investments in agri food system. It took into account that challenges in food systems are often closely related to education, gender equality and infrastructure, and therefore require multi-sectoral and systemic solutions to ensure resilience.
  • Moderator Prof. Jennie Barron, Swedish University
  • Peter Kullgren Minister of Rural Affairs, Sweden 
  • H.E. Bryan Acheampong Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ghana 
  • Martin Fregene African Development Bank 
  • Banke Olukanmi, Babban Gona, Nigeria Efficient mobilisation of private capital to support smallholder farmers across rural Nigeria 
  • Yaw Agyeman Atwereboanda Entrepreneur/Farmer, Ghana, The producers perspective from sustainable investments in Ghana 
  • Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia
  • Lauren Phillips, FAO The Status of Women in Agrifood Systems 
  • Tora Olsson, Guarantees as a tool to mobilise responsible investments SIDA 
  • Kostas Karantininis - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, SASi-SPI: Sustainable Agri-Food Systems Inteligence - Science Policy Interface EU-FAO-AGRINATURA Partnership Initiative 
  • Stephen Onakuse, Agrinatura President 

Side Event 4: Science for Policy - how science can support policymaking The example of the Pan African Network for Economic Analysis of Policies (PANAP)

Concept note

The Pan-African Network for economic Analysis of Policies (PANAP) brings together academic, research, and institutional partners that develop research on agro-economic and policy issues. It was established at the end of 2019 under the aegis of the African Union (AU) - European Union (EU) partnership. 

The main objectives of the network are to strengthen the liaison between researchers/scientists and policymakers in Africa and to foster scientific communities providing independent, evidence-based scientific support, data/information, and economic analysis of sustainable agrifood systems and related policies.

Introduction J. Wojciechowski, EU Commissioner Agriculture

Why PANAP - Science for policy 
  • S. Saastomainen, Deputy Director-General, EC-JRC 
  • A. Agumya, Executive Director, FARA
PANAP - activities examples 
  • W. Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat 
  • R. Ngugi, Executive Director, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), Kenya 
  • A. Garba Modibo, Coordonnateur, Cellule d’Analyse des Politiques et d’évaluation de l’action gouvernementale (CAPEG) (Niger) 
  • A.P. Arnaud Assanvo, Secrétaire Exécutif, Côte d’Ivoire – Ghana Cocoa Initiative
Recommendations and Policy perspective 
  • K. Rosenow, Head of Unit Research and Innovation, EC-DG.AGRI 
  • G. Bahiigwa, Director Agriculture and Rural Development, AUC-DARBE 
  • C. Montesi, Director Green Deal, Digital Agenda, EC-DG.INTPA 

Side Event 5: AU - EU partnership and the role of FOs in Resilient food systems and sustainable agri value chains

The main objective of the session was to undertake a stocktaking of the key contributions and main
achievements of the joint programmes (FO4ACP and FORI) in strengthening the capacities of farmers
organisations and promoting sustainable rural development.
  • Moderated by Mr. Ishmael Sunga
  • Hon. Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda
  • Hulmi Aulikki Permanent Secretary  – Finland
  • Carla Montessi - Director DG INTPA/EC - The role of Farmers Organisations in the transformational agenda for climate change, environment, sustainable energy, agri-food systems and digitalisation action
  • Marco Camagni, Lead Global Technical Specialist in Producers Organizations and Rural Development, IFAD - The role of Farmers Organisations in IFAD’s rural transformation strategy
  • Ms Manes Nkhata, President Malawi National Farmers Organisation, PAFO member - Showcasing Success Stories about economic services, advocacy, and institutional development of the membership-based farmers organisations
  • Mr Enrico Parisi, Coldiretti Young Farmer, WFO member

CONCORD (2023) CONCORD Recommendations for Food and Agriculture in the AU-EU Partnership # 6 p.

The EU should address global food insecurity through its policies, programs, AU-EU Partnership, and influence in international forums.

  1. respect democratic policy decision making rooted in a human rights framework. 
  2. support the agroecological transition. 
  3. promote food sovereignty, family farming, territorial food systems and healthy diets.
  4. strengthen eu support for sustainable food systems and redesign eu investment policies
  5. respect the principle of coherence for sustainable development (PCSD)

Driving climate impact through frontier technologies in the global south

30 June 2023
. Driving climate impact through frontier technologies in the global south - 
Side event London Climate Action Week 2023 (24/06-2/07)

Research shows that mobile and digital technologies can help vulnerable communities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) build resilience to climate change. The GSMA’s Mobile for Development programme is uniquely positioned at the intersection of the mobile ecosystem and the development sector, advancing the use of mobile technology, connected devices and other digital tools so they can make a positive difference to the planet and millions of lives.

This interactive session marks the launch of the GSMA ClimateTech programme’s new report 

GSMA (2023) Emerging Trends in Climate Tech Innovations # 18 p.

In February 2021, the ClimateTech programme published The Role of Digital and Mobile-Enabled Solutions in Addressing Climate Change. This report discussed seven areas in which digital technologies can be used to combat climate change: clean energy and energy efficiency: transport, mobility and logistics; natural resource management and forestry; agriculture; managing water solutions; waste management and circular economy solutions; and disaster preparedness and response. It also explores the use of mobile and digital solutions for climate finance, and the application of frontier technologies. 

On 22 November 2022 at COP27, the GSMA, together with FCDO and Sida, announced the 12 organisations that had been awarded a grant under the GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation. The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation received a total of 524 applications. March 2023 GSMA launched a second round: The Innovation Fund forClimate Resilience and Adaptation 2.0.

  • Agricultural solutions dominated the pool of applications, with 46% of projects focusing on this sector. This highlights a growing awareness of the linkages and dependencies between agriculture and climate change. 
  • Mobile apps are the most commonly used technology feature.
  • More than half of the applicants had more than one business model. For example, one for direct-to-consumers and another for businesses. It would be valuable to create more evidence on successful business models to demonstrate how start-ups and larger institutions can work in partnership effectively. 

12 organisations

  1. Aquarech (Kenya): Improving fish farmers’ productivity, enabling market access and creating an inclusive aquaculture value chain through the use of mobile technology and IoT sensors.
  2. BaKhabar Kissan (BKK) (Pakistan) Strengthening agricultural productivity and planning for climate-vulnerable farming communities through a network of new weather stations to provide hyperlocal weather information, as well as enabling access to agricultural expertise through digital platforms
  3. BENAA (Egypt) Supporting water resource management using IoT to help convert wastewater into irrigation water for small farms in rural Egypt.
  4. CoAmana (Nigeria) Improving agricultural productivity and helping farmers manage financial risks related to drought in Nigeria, through a digital marketplace for farmers to access markets, purchase drought-resistant seeds and access information on best practices and financial services
  5. Crop2Cash (Nigeria) Supporting farmers facing drought conditions in Nigeria to adapt their farming practices through climate-smart farming content and manage financial risks through their digital marketplace, connecting farmers to high-yield, drought-resistant maize seeds via USSD.
  6. Dayaxa Frankincense Export Company (DFEC) (Somaliland) Creating a regenerative model for positive social, ecological and economic change by working with farmers in Somaliland to harvest sustainable produce, achieve fair pricing and improve day-to-day living standards for farmer communities.seeds and access information on best practices and financial services.
  7. GeoKrishi (Nepal) Helping smallholder farmers in Nepal adapt to climate stressors and adopt climate-smart agricultural practices through digital learning content and advisory services. 
  8. Hello Tractor (Nigeria) Improving planning and preparedness for farming communities facing unpredictable rainfall patterns in Nigeria, by using weather and historic tractor service demand data to model and optimise tractor service provision.
  9. J-Palm (Liberia) Transforming the sustainability of wild palm oil through access to ecological information for local harvesters, as well as mobile blockchain technology for improved traceability
  10. Komunidad (Philippines) Upgrading communities’ capacity to respond to disasters in the Philippines with a typhoon early warning system and weather analytics platform designed to help the local government plan and prepare for hazards more efficiently and accurately
  11. Lersha (Ethiopia) A one-stop digital service for smallholder farmers that provides advisory content on climate-smart agriculture solutions, weather information and facilitates access to agri-credit and agri-insurance. 
  12. Simusolar (Tanzania) Supporting fishers in securing livelihoods, adapting to weather changes and sustaining fisheries management in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, through IoTenabled productivity and activity tracking equipment

The webinar of 30/06 (recording forthcoming) discussed different ways that frontier and digital technology can be used for climate impact in LMICs. It presented new insights on emerging trends in climate technology and innovations from the latest grant funding round of GSMA and the start-ups awarded with grants by the GSMA. They shared how they are creatively using digital technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain to help communities anticipate and adapt to climate shocks and stressors.

  • Samir Hafiz – Climate Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager, GSMA ClimateTech
  • Luisa Odell – Innovation Advisor, UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
  • Nadja Dolata, Policy Specialist Digital for Development, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Aya Tarek Helmy – Co-Founder, BENAA
  • Mahmud Johnson, Founder, J-Palm
  • Allister Ayque – Co-Founder, Komunidad
  • Leila Guici – Insights and Advocacy Manager – Climate Tech, GSMA ClimateTech (moderator)

Innovative start-ups presented in this session:

  1. BENAA - supporting water resource management using the Internet of Things to help convert wastewater into irrigation water for small farms in rural Egypt.
  2. J-Palm - transforming the sustainability of wild palm oil through access to ecological information for local harvesters, as well as mobile blockchain technology for improved traceability in Liberia.
  3. Komunidad - upgrading local government capacity to prepare for hazards more efficiently and accurately in the Philippines with a typhoon early warning system and weather analytics platform.

Digitally Enabled Climate Finance

This flagship report by the GSMA ClimateTech programme provides emerging insights on the role of mobile and digital technology in accessing and delivering climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Access Agriculture’s innovative delivery model

Access Agriculture employs a unique model for last-mile delivery by engaging young entrepreneurs as Entrepreneurs for Rural Access who facilitate village video shows using mobile smart projectors. In these shows, rural communities learn, discuss, and implement practices showcased in the videos. The smart projectors enable the Entrepreneurs for Rural Access to grow their enterprises and add value to their services by incorporating videos into workshops and outreach sessions.

To ensure the impact of videos, Access Agriculture has created a network of partners that download, share, and monitor them. Over the past decade, Access Agriculture videos have been utilized by more than 5,000 organizations, reaching over 90 million people —including the public and private sector, TV and radio stations, or other digital service providers.

Collaborative efforts between organizations like Access Agriculture and ICARDA demonstrate the scalability and impact of such initiatives.

In 2020, Access Agriculture partnered with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) to facilitate technology dissemination with the Innovative Agriculture for Smallholder Resilience project, which is funded by BMZ and administered by GIZ-FIA, the Fund for International Agricultural Research. The project under the leadership of Bezaiet Dessalegn is running in Egypt until the end of 2023 (see Water innovations that work | ICARDA).

Three farmer-to-farmer videos were produced that focus on the core technology and
innovative solutions, including the raised bed technology, crop rotation, and land consolidation. The video production relied on the farmer-to-farmer approach which allows farmers to share important knowledge based on their own experience and in their own words. The farmers not only explain the solutions but also describe the challenges well so that fellow farmers watching the video can adapt the technology to meet their own needs. The video production also involved desk reviews and research, key interviews with experts, and running small group discussions among extension workers and lead farmers on selected video topics.

This process is critical to get farmers to appear on camera and who can share their local innovations and help future farmers overcome similar challenges. Working alongside ICARDA scientists, local video teams trained by Access Agriculture ensured that scripts are peer-reviewed and that the voices of rural women and youth were always included. To date, the videos have been watched by over 50,000 people in six governorates.

Videos developed by the Innovative Agriculture for Smallholder Resilience project

The Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment & Promotion (SHEP) approach

29 June 2023. Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment & Promotion (SHEP) approach.

  • The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • SHEP is an innovative approach to agricultural extension services that is anchored on the disciplines of economics and psychology and which has been effective in raising smallholder farmers' income from horticulture as it develops both the technical and managerial capacity of farmers to practice market-oriented farming. 
  • experiences from the ground, to get information on the upcoming SHEP online trainings for Africa and Asia.
JICA (2018) SHEP Handbook for Extension Staff. # 98 p.

The SHEP approach that successfully transforms farmers’ mindsets from “grow and sell” to “grow to sell” was developed based on numerous insights acquired from agricultural extension in Japan. This material introduces the voices of farmers and extension officers who are actually implementing the SHEP approach in their countries. 

At the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII) held in 2019, "declaration for achieving better lives of one million small scale farmers through SHEP Approach" was made. In order to achieve this by 2030, the SHEP approach for agricultural extension services collaborations with various organizations, such as donor partners and NGOs, have been accelerated. Since SHEP implementers are trained mainly through Group and Region-Focused Training, this material was created to promote the training remotely without face-to-face lectures by conveying the key points of the training in this material. 

The “practice version” together with another video titled "The SHEP Approach Training Digest" made in 2020 to deepen further understanding of the SHEP approach.

Introductory training organized by JICA and GFRAS on August 24th 2021

Thursday, June 29, 2023

How large scale production sites can be organic

27 June 2023. From Desert to Abundance: Overcoming Monoculture Challenges in a Changing Climate.

This documentary gives a front-row view of the journey of Agropiura, a table-grape and banana operation in Peru, to regenerative agriculture. Executive Director of Agropiura, Roberto Silva-Rodriquez’s commitment and resourcefulness was the catalyst for this amazing and successful journey.

Witness this incredible success story and learn how Roberto and Soil Food Web Consultant, Miles Sorel of Terraforma, improved soil health and farming operations, achieving a reported 200% increase in yields over just two growing seasons. Their new management approach involved cover crops, animal husbandry, and other exciting regenerative techniques

Following the premiere, there was a Q&A session with Roberto Silva-Rodriguez; Miles Sorel; the filmmaker, Ashley Terry; and Dr. Elaine Ingham. They provided deeper insights into this success story and shared their experiences documenting this.

Panel discussion + mini documentary:

Africa satellite event SRI2023: Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress

 26 - 30 June 2023Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2023.

The Sustainability Research & Innovation (SRI) Congress is the world’s largest transdisciplinary gathering for the global sustainability community. The third edition of the SRI Congress, SRI2023, was hosted by the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Panama (SENACYT) and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).

SRI is a joint initiative of Future Earth and the Belmont Forum.

Turning the Tide for Climate: Collaborative Action for Institutional Transformation

Climate change requires urgent action that engages all sectors of society and transforms fundamental institutions and systems that underpinning our societies. But how to build these new impact coalitions and how to make them fair and effective and equitable? How can these new and diverse collaborations accelerate a rapid, sustainable and positive change that doesn’t deepen but rather reduce existing inequalities? What are the tradeoffs and how do we manage them? 

SRI2023 explored pathways to informed and just changes in critical systems, such as political/governance, financial, legal, tax, energy and production, transport, research, education and value systems through the lenses of:
  • Environmental and social justice
  • New concepts and measurements of wealth, value, merit and well-being
  • Sustainable consumption and production (including clean energy)
  • Opportunities and ethics of technological innovation, including carbon mitigation and drawdown
  • Cohesive legal frameworks for addressing interrelated climate / environmental challenges and disasters and advancing climate action
  • Evidence uptake and informed decision-making
  • North-north and south-south collaboration for systems change

Africa satellite event from 20 to 22 June 2023

This in-person event took place at Nelson Mandela University, in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), South Africa

It provided a platform for engagement, and collaboration and create opportunities for researchers and scientists, research managers, policymakers, and industry experts to share their ideas, relevant knowledge, and information in order to highlight and showcase regional sustainability challenges and opportunities in the region.

This event showcased the richness of 
African perspectives in sustainability science and innovation
. Drawing from the deeply rooted cultural and traditional contexts that value harmonious relationships between humans and nature and the innovations that characterize unrivaled economic growth, the African region has a wealth of knowledge and innovation to offer the wider world.

Extracts of the programme

20/06 Accelerators of Science and Technology: global role and sustainable impact.

Synchrotron light sources are very large scale research infrastructures. The are giant multidisciplinary super-microscopes using very intense X-rays, infra-red or UV to study the detailed atomic structure of all materials (also biological)

The African Light Source (AfLS) Foundation is mandated to drive the progress along the Roadmap towards the establishment of an Advanced Light Source on the African Continent. Early ideas and conversations dating from the turn of century have now led to a rather broad, unified and inclusive grouping, which forms a coherent home of its own and many other projects with the common vision for an Advanced Light Source in Africa.

In this session, panelists discussed the role of how established research facilities can bring together global scientific communities, where the mission of advancing science intermixes finely with a firm societal commitment.
  • Gihan Kamel  - the emerging cooperation between the established Middle East SESAME
    Synchrotron Light Source and the African Light Source Foundation (AfLS)
  • Sekazi Mtingwa - The importance of establishing the African Light Source having Africa the only continent left behind without this kind of technology
  • Galileo Violini - The importance of having Synchrotrons in the South, 
  • Abel Moreno Cárcamo - Infrastructural and financial requirements of building a green-field modern Synchrotron Light Source 
  • Júlio César R. F. de Oliveira, CEO at Pi-Tecnologia, a Brazilian company producing advanced detectors for X rays - The bridge between science and industry and the potential technological impact of Synchrotron Light Sources 
  • Boubakar Barry, CEO at the West and Central African Research and Education Network - The crucial connectivity between the facilities and the user's home institution 
The discussion included the aspects mentioned above and other essential issues, such as the importance of women in science, capacity building and development in different emerging synchrotron light initiatives in Central America and Africa.

20/06 Advancing sustainable research and innovation through science diplomacy

The session discussed how science diplomacy can support sustainable research and innovation. The session drew on perspectives from government, academia, research institutions, and international organisations. 

This hybrid session covered a series of case studies on adaptation interventions used to reduce the climate change impact in Africa. The session was in three parts; firstly case study presentation by Fellows, secondly a presentation of the interventional framework and lastly a panel discussion and then a Q & A session with the audience will follow. 
  • Moderator  Dr. Vincent Pagiwa (Botswana) A multi-sectorial coordination adaptation framework for the health sector in Africa. 
  • Dr. Samson Mhizha (Zimbabwe) Resilience building among the vulnerable and marginalized populations in Zimbabwe.
  • Dr. Seraphine Mokake (Cameroon) The use of indigenous knowledge system interventions to respond to climate change health impacts in Cameroon
  • Dr. Siewe Fodjo Joseph Nelson (Cameroon) A vector control technique against blackflies to curb onchocerciasis transmission. 
  • Dr. Brighton Chunga (Malawi) Interventions to manage and allocate water during climate change influenced disasters in Africa. 
  • Dr. Nkechi S. Owoo (Ghana) Effects of multidimensional poverty on climate adaptation and mitigation, coping and adaptation strategies in response to climate change in Ghana. 
  • Dr. Jumoke I. Oladele (Nigeria) African tailored mental-wellbeing scale as a nondrug-based therapy interventions for supporting health systems.

20/06 Future Earth Water-Energy-Food Nexus GRN: Shaping the future of knowledge co-production and transformation co-design toward sustainability

The contribution of Future Earth Water-Energy-Food Nexus (FE WFE Nexus) GRN in advancing sustainability science and announces the establishment of the WFE Nexus international project office.
  • Future Earth supports 27 Global Research Networks that together address the complex interactions between natural, social and technological systems, and how those interactions affect, across time and space, the planet’s life support systems, socio economic development, and human wellbeing.
  • The Future Earth’s Water-Energy-Food Nexus Knowledge-Action Network is a network of people and organizations working to address nexus challenges. 
  • Future Earth is funded by a range of private and public foundations, government agencies, universities and other groups (such as European Space Agency, Global Environment Facility (GEF),
  • Belmont Forum, Institut de Recherche sur le Développement (IRD), etc..
  • The EU is supporting the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme, an independent information and facilitating platform developed within the framework of the Global Programme 'Nexus Regional Dialogues'. It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) jointly funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union.
The presentations highlighted the FE WFE Nexus GRN contribution to: 

20/06 Sustainable food packaging

The session had industry experts from packaging technologies to food scientists that discussed around the possibility of creating sustainable and eco-friendly packaging (convenient foods and shelf stable foods).

20/06 Connecting Science to Society: A Network Approach to Improving Science Communication in the Global South

The session addressed barriers in science communication while providing the needed incentives to support researchers from the global south to engage more with lay audiences. The session was held under a Transformation Collaboratory method. 
  1. Strengthening synergies between research and innovation systems.
    Effective science communication can be a bridge to better interaction between the worlds of research, innovation, and the general society. Issues/questions: - science communication workshop series for capacity building? - strengthening research and innovation funding capacity? - a cultural shift towards supporting research, innovation, and entrepreneurship? - supporting coordinated networking assets that enable productive interconnectivity among various research and innovation stakeholders? - embedding gender equality and social inclusion at the center of ecosystem participation? - pathways to scale up research and innovation diffusion? 
  2. Increasing research discoverability and accessibility among early career researchers in the global south, to advance innovation.
    Open infrastructures like Crossref enables connections between publications, people, organizations, and other associated outputs through metadata, preserving the metadata and making it available across a range of interfaces and formats so that society can use it and build tools with it. Issues/questions: - innovating in isolation vs leveraging collaboration and knowledge sharing. - how rich metadata enhances discoverability. - integrating open science and FAIRE data principles (findability, accessibility, interoperability, reusability) in the innovation process.

20/06 Environmental Sustainability, Collaborative Actions and the Changing African Climate

  • Source Separation for Recycling among Nigerian Households and its Implications for Sustainability and Environmental Policy by Nnanna Onuoha Arukwe, Ph.D (Visiting Scholar, Taiwan Center for Security Studies, National Chengchi University, Taipei City & Ms Chiamaka Precious Eke, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka). 
  • Effects of Climate Change on Productivity Growth in Cameroon by Jerome Muakang Kum, Ph.D (University of Bamenda, Cameroon
  • Framework for Food Systems Resilience in a Changing Climate: Case of Nigeria – Onyebuchi N. Okoroafor, Ph.D, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Calabar, Nigeria
  • Impact of Household Income Diversification on Household Welfare in Rural Nigeria Ndubuisi O. Chukwu, Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 
  • Analyzing Child Undernourishment in Africa: Evidence from Logistic Regression Model - Uchenna Nduka, Ph.D (Department of Statistics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka).

20/06 Examining the effectiveness of institutional frameworks for adaptation to water-related hazards, using case studies in selected African contexts

  • Rakhee Lakhraj-Govender - Do institutional frameworks encourage raising public awareness about climate-related water hazards? Is Water tracker, the tool for supporting water resilience, incorporated in National Climate Planning-NDCs NDPs NAP? Does the National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS) support water adaptation? 
  • Kingsley Ogbu Institutional barriers impacting adaptation to climate-related flood in Nigeria.”
  • Blessing Charuka - How can nature-based solutions be used to reduce the impacts of tidal waves and coastal flooding in Ghana?
  • Anna Taylor Characteristics of institutional frameworks that create conditions for adaptability in the face of changing climate patterns

20/06 Future Earth Africa Hub Workshop - Shaping the Africa Hub Leadership Centre + Future Earth Africa Hub Leadership Centre Launch

  • The ​National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa is hosting the Africa Future Earth Global Secretariat Hub.The Africa Hub joins eight global hubs namely: Canada (Montreal), China (Beijing), France (Paris), Japan (Tokyo), South Asia (Bengaluru), Sweden (Stockholm), Taipei (Taipei), and the United States (Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado, and Fairfax, Virginia).
  • The NRF serves as the adherence body to the International Science Council (ISC), and is a founding member of the Belmont Forum
  • The African Open Science Platform (AOSP), hosted by the NRF, is a prominent stakeholder in this global initiative.
  • During the 2022-2023 the Africa Hub operates as a truly global initiative with a strong African presence and voice, integrating Africa’s thriving and expanding sustainability science, policy, and funding communities into the global sustainability science arena. 
  • The approach articulates a clear framework for the Future Earth Africa Hub, which includes an ‘Africa Hub Leadership Centre’ based in South Africa (financially supported by the NRF) and four ‘Africa Hub Focal Points’ strategically located throughout the continent (to be supported by other partner academic institutions and/or funders).
  • The Future Earth Regional Office for Southern Africa (FEROSA) Steering Committee is composed of an experienced vibrant team from multiple countries and backgrounds. The committee includes academics, practitioners from the public, and private sectors, non-governmental organisations, regional organisations, government representatives, and interested citizens from the region.

21/06 Development of value-added products, commercialization, intellectual property management for indigenous plant species: towards strengthening the role of local communities in food security

  • Dr Kebadire Mogotsi - How communities in Botswana selected and prioritized the indigenous
    plant species to be included in the research and development 
  • Ms Inonge Chibua - Dissemination of research findings with communities 
  • Dr David TakuwaTraditional Medicine; Now is the Time-Towards Empowering local communities to derive value in their tradition medicine 
  • Dr Kabo Mosetlha: Importance of intellectual property in natural resources research and development 
  • Dr Dikabo Mogopodi - Forms of protection that can be utilized for IKS and TK 
  • Mr Banyaladzi Paphane - Development of value added products; a case study; Evaluation of two Non-Edible, Wild Indigenous Botswana Crops (Croton megalobotrys (Motsebi/Letsebi/Moshoole) and Ricinus communis (Mokhure)) as Potential Feedstocks for Petroleum and Cosmetic Industries
  • Ms Mesha Mbisana: Ensuring food safety of indigenous foods.

21/06 Enabling Transformative Climate Action: Importance of Multi-sector Collaboration in the Global South

This session was co-organised by International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre (ISTIC) and African Science, Technology and Policy Institute and discussed global sustainability challenges on climate change action, success stories, challenges and recommendations. 

21/06 Harnessing the power of AI to accelerate biodiversity management in Latin America

Topics: Introduction the challenges facing biodiversity and priority ecosystems and the role of AI in addressing them. Introduction to current AI solutions and tools for conservation. Case studies of AI applications in the field. Discussion on the limitations and challenges of using AI for conservation. Discussion of the ethical and social implications of the use of AI for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and priority ecosystems. Identification of opportunities for further research and development. Best practices for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

21/06 Deriving the benefits from technology and innovation partnerships between the universities and the Agricultural industry: Perspective from the Small and Medium Enterprises

22/06 "Synecoculture" as a forever carbon-negative agro-ecological paradigm

Synecoculture creates a rich ecosystem by mixing and densely growing a wide variety of plants and maximizes the use of the material cycle inherent in the ecosystem. This methodology eliminates the need for plowing, fertilizing, and pesticide use that impacts the environment.

Le programme (modules) de la formation du Centre Africain de Recherche et de Formation en Synecoculture est le suivant :
  1. État des lieux de la Synécoculture dans le monde 
  2. Introduction à la Synécoculture Contexte global 
  3. La condition générale de succès en la Synécoculture 
  4. L'explication concrète des stratégies qui constituent la Synécoculture Observations générales 
  5. L'explication concrète des stratégies qui constituent la Synécoculture Explications détaillées 
  6. Stratégies de la Synécoculture dans le Sahel : Principes de Base 
  7. L'utilisation des technologies de l’information et de la communication(ICT) en Synécoculture
  8. Valorisation des produits à plusieurs aspects agroécologique en Synécoculture

22/06 Climate Change in Africa, PAUWES Curriculum and contributions

The Master’s in Climate Change (MCC) is a two-year programme, featuring specialised newly developed courses across a range of climate change topics, supplemented by key courses already offered through Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences - PAUWES (Tlemcen, Algeria)

22/06 Developing Model for Africa's Climate Finance

The discussion supported the South Africa-Nigeria Climate Finance Initiative. The two nations want to work together to mobilize funds for climate change and a just transition in Africa. Topics that were discussed: a) Model for Africa's climate finance b) How to provide resources for ensuring food security in Africa c) How can African countries collaborate to mitigate the effects of climate change and just transition e) Skills needed to be developed among youth for future participation in climate change and just transition.

22/06 E-Research, a vector of common good heritage in Africa

Topics discussed: How to safeguard the endogenous knowledge of our parents on an open science platform? How to collaborate and convince the custodians or holders of endogenous knowledge for the dissemination in open source and make this knowledge a common good for humanity?

22/06 Sustainability Science: challenges and opportunities in knowledge production and professional development for African Early Career Scientists (ERCs)

This session discussed the challenges ECRs face in the sustainability science in Africa and showcased experiences from the different network representatives. They reflected on how to shape a career path in a Talent Development (TD) context in sustainability research:  from challenges to opportunities (Role of Education/ mentorship and training aspect/ research and the impact on public engagement).

22/06 The Role of Enablers in Adoption of Agrivoltaics Systems in East Africa

This session was organised by the Africa Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) 

It is crucial that the final consumers have access to knowledge on how agrivoltaics systems (AVS) operate, how they compare to other options, and what advantages they can offer. 
  • The enablers can range from the government to private sector. 
  • Realizing the advantages of agrivoltaics, which span the agricultural and energy sectors,
    therefore need cross-sectoral dissemination and engagement initiatives. 
  • Policymakers should investigate ways to enhance interactions between the private sector and governments' climate-smart agriculture, as the private sector plays a significant role in sustainability and innovation programs. 
The aim of the session was to create awareness of the AVS innovation and inform policy & research to improve accessibility and rate of adoption to the community level through dialogue by different stakeholders in East Africa. 
  1. What business models can be used in East Africa with high potential for success in adoption and investments in AVS? 
  2. What tools exist among non-state actors (e.g. for capacity development, awareness, knowledge exchange and co-design) in designing and supporting adoption of AVS? 
  3. What regional/national policies/strategies are available/ should be available to support, monitor and enforce co-use of land for energy and agriculture (AVS)?

22/06 Collaborative Climate Adaptation for food security in the African Water-Energy-Food Nexus Using Design Thinking and Systems Modeling

This session discussed how Collaborative Learning Schools events can be adapted as methodology to research, practice, and teaching, and how to make them more relevant and effective in a wider range of adaptation contexts.

Note: Business Schools for Climate Leadership Africa (BS4CL Africa) brings together schools of business in building a collaborative framework for climate action to transform business education curricula that matches the needs and adapts to the realities of the African continent. A roundtable to launch BS4CL Africa was organised (06/11/2022) for deans of six leading African business schools as well as representatives from the African Chapter of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and the European Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL).

22/06 Drought Resilience in Africa

This panel discussed: (a) Droughts and its impacts on the food-water-energy nexus (b) Climate change and increasing disaster risks (c) Promoting sustainable and renewable source of energy (and WEF more generally) (d) Integrating technology and indigenous knowledge to mitigate droughts (e) People-centred approach for disaster risk management.
  • Cranfield University, UK 
  • Penn State University, USA 
  • Sao Paolo University, Brazil 
  • Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) Morocco 
  • University of the Free State, South Africa

22/06 Energy Transition and Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus Security in Africa: Opportunities, Risks, and Trades offs

Discussed topics included: 
  • What could be the risks and opportunities of hydrogen strategies for specific countries in Africa (a few examples from Northern and Southern Africa ) on the WEF security? 
  • What role could interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches play in finding the needed tradeoffs between the required transition and the resources management justice? 
  • Although the essence of the WEF nexus concept is globally acknowledged as demonstrated by its integration into policy and legislative instruments; its operationalization has been challenging. Will the drive towards energy transition facilitate or further undermine the WEF nexus security? 
  • The Leave No One Behind Agenda aims to make those on the margins of society also benefit from development. How can WEF nexus facilitate or hinder the Leave No One Behind Agenda?
  • Dr. Faten Attig Bahar (Tunisia)
  • Dr. Felix Kwabena Donkor (Ghana)
  • Prof. Ruby Hanson (Ghana)
  • Prof. Oluseyi Adeyemi (UK)
  • Dr. Henerica Tazvinga (South Africa)
  • Prof. Kwenje Chrispine (Kenya)

22/06 From Global challenges to local solutions: how FAIR data, transdisciplinarity and innovation are sustainably shaping the marine research, management, communities and narratives of South Africa

This session discussed transdisciplinary approaches to sustainable management of the coastal
environment and the people living within. (Related: FAIR and open data sharing in support of healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters - HORIZON-INFRA-2022-EOSC-01-03)
  • Moderator: Janine Adams (NMU) 
  • Anusha Rajkaran (UWC)
  • Lyle Vorsatz (UCT)
  • Rachel Wynberg (UCT)
  • Linda Harris (NMU)
  • Nina Rivers (NMU)
  • Boudina McConnachie (RU) 
  • Anthony Bernard (SAIAB)
  • Francesca Porri (SAIAB)

22/06 Participatory and citizen sciences: the Co-construction of an African scientific diplomacy

Little space is devoted to research in the Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Since the Lagos Plan in 1980, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had asked African states to devote 1% of their budget to research, more than thirty years later, not a single African state has respected this recommendation. Is there an African science diplomacy? Why doesn't Africa have a stage diplomacy?
  • Mr. ATSE Kambo Martial
  • Mr. Joburg Mahuyu
  • Miss Esther Shakachite
  • Professor Mr. Raymond Ebalé
  • Mrs. Faye N'Diaye 
  • Mrs. Traore Doufin

27/06 Achieving Planetary Health Through Boundaries & Targets 

A session druing the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2023 was dedicated to Achieving Planetary Health Through Boundaries & Targets.

Future Earth and the Earth Commission - a part of the Global Commons Alliance - organised  June 9 a conference on ‘Earth systems boundaries for a just world on a safe planet’.

The Earth Commission has defined a new set of boundaries that will inform science-based-targets for governments, cities and businesses to work toward, in order to secure a safe and just future in which humans and nature can thrive. By centering justice at its heart, this new science represents a quantum leap in our ability to understand Earth’s capacity to sustain life, and the role we humans play as guardians of our only home and each other.