The Agricultural Trade Policy Institute (ATPI) at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) has become the 11th member of the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI). ATPI’s membership was endorsed during ReNAPRI’s 16th Board Meeting which took place virtually due to current restrictions on travel, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ReNAPRI is a network of agricultural policy research centers, generating high quality evidence for policy makers in Africa. ReNAPRI is registered in Zambia, with its membership drawn from 11 countries (DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and now Namibia).
The Agricultural Trade Policy Institute (ATPI), supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s (GIZ) through their Evidence-based and Coordinated Agri-Trade Policy Development in Namibia (ECAP) is a newly created research centre under the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences (DANRS) of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). ATPI aims to be a leading voice in producing evidence-based research in Namibia while at the same time supporting policy makers, civil society and the Namibian private sector with data driven policy analysis. Part of ATPI’s outreach strategy involves the development of technical administrative, long-term research capacity and building sustainable partnerships with regional and global partners such as ReNAPRI. ATPI’s further believes in ReNAPRI’s mission of playing an active role in transforming Africa’s agricultural sector by developing the capacity of national agricultural policy research Institutes in the continent, and strengthening and nurturing dynamic collaboration, towards providing objective and innovative policy advice to national, regional, and continental level stakeholders, through effective outreach. This similarity in the mission of both institutions is therefore fundamental in developing research capable of responding to the needs of partners based in Namibia and Africa, as a whole.
ReNAPRI recently launched its 5-year strategic plan and research agenda which will guide the activities of the network from 2021-2026. A key area of that strategic plan involves expanding network membership to strong national policy institutes of Africa Union member states. The admission of ATPI into the ReNAPRI network is therefore of prime importance to ReNAPRI as it expands membership to leading national policy research institutes in African Union member states. Going forward, ReNAPRI believes ATPI’s membership in the network will lead to a win-win partnership for both institutions as they seek to promote the use of evidence and data driven policy analysis in transforming African agriculture.