Libre circulation de l’information scientifique et technique pour la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique

Une demande pour d’initiatives pertinentes encouragent la circulation, la promotion et la valorisation de l’information

Libre circulation des biens et des services! Tel est le slogan souvent prononcé par les décideurs politiques et tous acteurs en charge du développement agricole de l’Afrique pour évoquer les contraintes majeures à l’intégration et à la sécurité alimentaire aux niveaux régional et continental.

Mais, ma participation à la Sixième Semaine Scientifique de l’Agriculture Africaine (AASW6) m’amène à affirmer que c’est erroné ou très restrictif, de voir les barrières frontalières à l’intégration régionale et à la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique sous le seul angle de la libre circulation des biens et des services.

En effet, avant qu’un pays ne puisse dégager des surplus pour alimenter le marché régional, il est nécessaire que les petites producteurs, qui constituent le poumon de la production alimentaire en Afrique, aient préalablement accès à des connaissances techniques et scientifiques adéquates pour produire pour se nourrir et ensuite nourrir les autres.

Continue reading

Mobile network operators have much to gain from agriculture

Ghana's six mobile network operators have been slow to take advantage of agricultural value chains in the promotion of mobile services.

Ghana’s six mobile network operators have been slow to take advantage of agricultural value chains in the provision of mobile services.

Visit Ghana and ask for the phone number of any ordinary person on the street, and most likely you’ll be given the option of two or three different mobile network operators (MNOs) to choose from. Ghana has 19 million cell phone subscribers for its over 24 million inhabitants — an impressive proportion — most of whom subscribe to more than one operator.

Ghana is one of Africa’s most vibrant and innovative communications markets. It launched the first cellular mobile network in sub-Saharan Africa in 1992, and was one of the first countries on the continent to be connected to the Internet and introduce ADSL services. A market leader in terms of liberalization and deregulation, Ghana Telecom in 1996.

Continue reading

No weakest link in the future of African agriculture

Naomi Sakana of IFPRI with ILRI's Ewen Le Borgne at AASW6. Forging partnerships between stakeholders is the key to a productive future, and the real value of the AASW6 conference.

Naomi Sakana of IFPRI with ILRI’s Ewen Le Borgne at AASW6. Forging partnerships between stakeholders is the key to a productive future, and the real value of the AASW6 conference.

When things come to an end, it is inevitable that one begins to look to the future.

Several things came to an end this week: The 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6)  in Accra, Ghana, for one, just closed the curtains on a frenzied week of activity; Professor Monty Jones, outgoing Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), officially handed over the reins to his successor at the end of the same week; and, well, France quashed England’s run for a women’s Euros football championship with a 3-0 win, if anyone was keeping track.

The third item aside, what do these other finales mean for the future of FARA, and for the future of its most anticipated triennial event, the AASW? Continue reading

Raising hope: Africa feeding Africa

The AASW6 conference left two things very clear: Africa  can feed itself, and the youth will be the ones ...

The AASW6 conference left two things very clear: Africa can feed itself, and young people are the key.

The past week was incredible. A fast paced series of event reported by a great team of social reporters brought together Africa‘s brightest in an attempt to give it the push it needs in order to reach its destiny. Even if many young people say that discussing agriculture and/or policy making is, well, boring, the AASW6 was certainly NOT.

Although I wasn’t present in Accra, Ghana for the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), my heart was there. I followed  the AASW6 Blog and #AASW6 Tweets and have imagined, together with those present in Accra, a bright future for Africa.

Continue reading

Online portal will track African agriculture investments

"

Resource allocation towards CAADP will lead to food self-sufficiency, and a new web portal will help track the progress.

AgInvest, a new web portal that will track resource allocation to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) by governments, development partners and other stakeholders is set to be released in 2013.  The announcement was made by Joseph Karugia, the coordinator of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System, Eastern and Central Africa (ReSAKSS-ECA), at a one day meeting held at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on Monday 15 July, 2013, to review the beta version of AgInvest.

“Tracking and mapping agriculture investments includes documenting their spatial distribution. This means getting to know where the investments are taking place physically and using that knowledge to guide decisions on future investments,” Karugia said.

Continue reading

For Africa to feed Africa, “Make peace” with climate change

CCAFS Robert Zougmore speaks to the BBC on the importance of anticipa

CCAFS Robert Zougmore speaks on the importance of preparedness for climate impacts in Africa.

A recent and widely-covered report from the World Bank gives voice to ominous predictions that have been circulating among climate scientists and agriculture experts for several years: higher temperatures and weather extremes caused by climate change are on course to dramatically increase the already daunting number of Africans who don’t get enough to eat.

Indeed, the report predicts, for instance, that in just a few decades, 40 to 80 percent of the land now devoted to maize, millet and sorghum in sub-Saharan Africa could become unsuitable for these critically important staple crops.

Continue reading

Sparking youth engagement in agriculture

Participants speak at a YPARD side event during AASW6. Agriculture may not seem like a young person's profession, but there are a surprising number of youth involved!

Participants speak at a YPARD side event during AASW6. Agriculture may not seem like a young person’s profession, but there are a surprising number of youth involved!

Ask any child in school what he or she would like to be in the future and I’ll bet you  $100 that 0 out of 10 will say farmer.

In Africa, that’s the world we’re living in. However, as scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs and the like gather at the Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) I do see a good number of young people involved in agriculture. Among the crowd of young reporters and researchers, one active participant that caught my attention was Gloria Lihemo.

Continue reading