7th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW)

  • 20th June 2016
  • by secretary

13-16 June 2016, Kigali, Rwanda. The four day Forum and Exhibitionattracted over 1,500
participants, including Ministers of State and Policy makers, experts in Agriculture and stakeholders engaged in African agricultural research and development to discuss how research can be used to improve agriculture on the continent.

FARA co-organized this event jointly with:

  • Sub-regional Agricultural Research Organisations: (ASARECA, CCARDESA and CORAF/WECARD)
  • African Union Commission and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency
  • Education networks (ANAFE, RUFORUM, AAU)
  • Continental AR&D organisations (AFAAS, AGRA, PAFO, AAIN and AATF)
  • Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African
    Development Bank, during his opening speech
  • The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), FAO, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture.

In his keynote address, President Akinwumi Adesina of the African Development Bank, stressed on investing in science and technologies to transform the agricultural sector in Africa not just to manage rural poverty but for creating wealth. “Today, Africa spends $35 billion on importing food. This is projected to grow to $110 billion by 2025. Africa is importing what it should be producing” he said. He urged ministers of Finances to consider agriculture as a commercial activity and thus, it requires “comprehensive investments in rural infrastructure, market development, transforming the financial sector to lend more to agriculture and greater investments by the private sector in the agricultural value chain. He further expressed excitement for the adoption of the new agricultural transformation strategy of the AfDB at the recent Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank held in Lusaka, Zambia. He pledges the support of his institution towards NEPAD’s and FARA’s initiatives. In order to guarantee food security in Africa, AfDB adopted an ambitious programme: Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT). Its objective is to scale up agricultural technologies to reach millions of farmers in Africa within ten years.

The event focused on the operationalization of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa at country level. Thus its overall theme was “Apply Science, Impact Livelihoods”. The content was organized around the following five sub-themes:

  1. Institutional systems and policies for making science work for African agriculture
  2. Sustainable productivity growth, value chains and profitable agribusinesses
  3. Human capital development and the Youth
  4. Sustainable financing of Science, Technology and Innovation for African agriculture
  5. Megatrends in African Agriculture
Extract of the programme: Report back on outcomes of plenary and parallel sessions
  1. Theme 1: Sustainable productivity growth and intensification; Dr. Kwesi Atta-Krah (Director Humidtropics CRP, IITA)
  2. Theme 2: Value chains, agribusiness and the Youth, Dr. Robin Buruchara (Africa Director, CIAT),
  3. Theme 3: Data, Information and Knowledge Systems for African agriculture; Judith Francis, CTA)
  4. Theme 4: Sustainable financing of STI for African Agriculture; Dr. Chiji Ojukwu (Director, Agriculture and Agroindustry, AfDB)
  5. Theme 5: Human Capital Development, Dr. Moses Osiru (Deputy Executive Secretary, RUFORUM)

Plenary Panel discussion: Reflections on necessary actions for improving and sustaining the
application of science to improve African livelihoods

  • Dr. Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, FAO
  • Ms. Elizabeth Atangana, PROPAC
  • Ms. Ténemba Anna Samaké, CEO NBC-Africa
  • Dr. Janet Edeme, Acting Director, African Union Commission Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture
  • Hon. Tony Nsanganira, Minister of State for Agriculture and Animal Resources (Rwanda)
  • Dr. Shadrack Moephuli, President and CEO, ARC-South Africa
  • Dr. Frank Rijsberman, CEO CGIAR Consortium
Inaugural speech by the new FARA Chairperson
A special feature of the conference and exhibition was a day dedicated to showcasing Rwanda and its advancements in agriculture and research.