ANAPRI ED IN A TRIAD OF TRANSFORMATIONAL MEETINGS

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The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) General Assembly, Africa Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW), and Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) General Assembly are major events in the field of agricultural research and development in Africa. This year, the events occurred within the same period (5th-8th June, 2023) at the International Conference Centre, Durban, South Africa. These gatherings bring together stakeholders from across the continent and beyond to discuss and address key issues related to agriculture, agribusiness, and scientific advancements in the sector.

These tripartite events represent a beacon of hope for agricultural innovation, collaboration, and prosperity in Africa. The general assemblies, side events, and other programs have shed light on the path forward for transforming the agricultural sector and driving sustainable development across the continent. A highlight of the event includes the ratification of FARA’s new executive director, Dr. Aggrey Agumya, Board Chairs as well as other portfolios. In the same vein, FARA’s strategic direction was approved. The theme for this year Africa Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW8) is Linking Science, Innovation, and Agri-Business for Resilient Food Systems.

Several notable personalities graced the events, including Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President African Development Bank (AfDB), H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (AUC–DARBE), Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, outgoing Executive Director of FARA, Mr Kolyang Palebele, President of the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO) amongst others. ANAPRI Executive Director, Dr Nalishebo Meebelo, Technical Chair, Dr Anthony Chapoto. Dr. Emmanuel Mwakiwa and Dr. Shephard Siziba from University of Zimbabwe were present during this three-in-one meeting.

Dr Nalishebo delivered remarks during the opening session of a side event on fertilizer and soil health at the AASW8; she equally moderated the session considering policy dialogue on improving the implementation of existing trade policies to support cross border trade in Africa. Mr Emmanuel Mwakiwa from ANAPRI was part of the presenters at the policy dialogue. She also had several strategic meetings aimed at building and nurturing strategic partnerships with various organizations and eminent individuals. 

These gatherings underscored the critical role of research and development in agricultural transformation and food systems in Africa. The assemblies emphasized the need for evidence-based decision-making, policy formulation, and the translation of research outcomes into practical solutions. They provided a platform for showcasing groundbreaking scientific advancements, technological innovations, and best practices in agricultural research. By promoting the importance of research and investing in its capacity, the assemblies have set the stage for advancing knowledge, driving innovation, and addressing the unique challenges facing African agriculture. Indeed, this triple meeting was a transformational meeting that helped in illuminating the path of agricultural innovation, collaboration, and prosperity. ANAPRI welcomes the partnership with FARA, the Sub-Regional Organisations (SROs) and other institutions involved in this space.