The Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) and the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the aim of fostering a comprehensive partnership for strategic engagement between the two institutions. The virtual signing ceremony which took place on the 11th of June 2020 concretized the long-standing relationship between the two institutions and will foster collaboration with the aim of providing evidence, knowledge products and recommend solutions to key stakeholders in support of agricultural policy and other related decision-making across Africa.
Signing on behalf of ReNAPRI, Dr. Miltone Ayieko- ReNAPRI Board Chairman underscored the role of the private sector as being the engine for economic growth at national and regional levels and went on to stress the need for an enabling policy and regulatory environment to support their effective operation. He further noted that decision making by the private sector and their effective contribution to policy dialogue needs to be supported by well-organized data and strong evidence from recognized think tanks. This to him provides the intersection between the work of both institutions and with the signing of the MOU, ReNAPRI and EAGC can work together to respond effectively to the ever-growing needs of stakeholders working in agricultural policy in Africa.
On his part, Mr. Gerald Masila – Executive Director of EAGC remarked that the signing of the MOU affirms the readiness of his institution to work with ReNAPRI in supporting its members and the region to generate evidence-based policy around grain trade and development. EAGC aims to improve the policy and trading environment in regional grain trade, strengthen market linkages and reduce constraints along the grain value chain. EAGC is also visible at regional level, and this is seen in the launch of a number of initiatives including regional grain hubs and regional grain quality committees.
ReNAPRI is a network of agricultural policy research institutes with presence in East, Southern, Central, and West Africa. The network generates sustainable and high-quality research products that can be used by both the EAGC Secretariat and its members in their efforts to influence national and regional policy for grain trade and development. While ReNAPRI sets its own research agenda, it also carries out real-time research, and responds to stakeholders’ demands for data driven evidence in supporting agricultural policy.
Given the current COVID 19 pandemic and the impact that it has posed on the private sector in the region, both organizations understand the importance of accurate, frequent, reliable, timely, and easily accessible information to assist the public and private sector in their response to the crisis. It is for this reason that ReNAPRI is currently working to support national governments and regional bodies to address the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. In collaboration with other organizations, ReNAPRI is also supporting matters of regional food trade and the impact of border closures in the African continent.
The signature of this MOU between ReNAPRI and EAGC marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between ReNAPRI policy research centers and the private sector.